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LAHORE/KASUR: Police confirmed on Friday that the results of DNA tests carried out in the wake of the rape and murder of Zainab in Kasur, indicated the involvement of one culprit in at least seven similar cases that occurred in the district over the past year.

A source in the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) said the agency had received samples collected by Kasur police from the crime scene in Zainab’s case. The samples included stains of blood and an examination was requested for the identification of semen in connection with sexual assault cases.

The sampling was processed at the PFSA’s DNA and Serology section where experts confirmed that one person was behind several similar crimes in the city.

The source explained the agency had conducted tests of samples obtained from victims in seven similar cases from Kasur, and according to available records, the results of these reports indicated involvement of the same person. Police authorities have been given the report of the DNA test in Zainab’s case, the source said.

The inspector general of police told reporters the JIT constituted to probe the case had received the DNA test results and investigations were under way.

Following the imposition of Section 144 on assembly of more than five people and the deployment of Rangers and police in Kasur, work as usual resumed and the city crawled back to normalcy on Friday, after three days of violent protests.

In neighbouring Pattoki, members of the civil society staged a demonstration on Kutchery Road to protest against the murder and sodomy of 11-year-old Sharaq, whose body was recovered on Thursday. The boy, who is said to be the 13th victim of rape and murder reported from the area over the past year, was buried on Friday.

The protesters dispersed after officials from the local administration assured them that they were working hard to ensure that justice was done.

MPA Rana Muhammad Hayat, on behalf of the chief minister, visited the victim’s family and handed them a cheque for Rs3m. He announced a job for one family member and Rs10m for the development of the village.

Provincial ministers Rana Mashhood and Khwaja Imran Nazir, and Punjab government spokesperson Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan held a press conference at the DC office, where they stressed that the police were narrowing down the suspect.

They said investigators were of the view that certain things should not be disclosed before the culprit was nabbed. They promised the serial killer would be arrested soon.

Mashhood said the government, civil society, the Rangers and intelligence agencies had been taken on board to solve the issue.

Mr Khan said the issue was so grave it could no longer be brushed under the carpet. He said it was the time to break social taboos and educate children about the matter.

He said the families of the two protesters killed by the police had been given compensation cheques, but their killing could not be justified. He said investigations were under way to zero in on those mischievous elements that had resorted to violence. They were not locals, he insisted, they had come from somewhere else, well prepared with bags full of stones, petrol bottles and clubs.

He said the officer heading the JIT had been changed according to the wish of complainant Amin.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2018