An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted investigators a 14-day physical remand of Zainab Amin's suspected murderer, DawnNews reported on Wednesday.
23-year-old Imran Ali, who was arrested by police on Tuesday, was produced before Judge Sajjad Ahmed today. The suspect, whose face was covered when he arrived at the court, was surrounded by officials of Punjab Elite Police Force.
State prosecutor Abdul Rauf Wattoo had originally requested the court for a 15-day physical remand so that investigators could interrogate the suspect, believed to be a serial murderer and rapist, about his alleged involvement in other similar cases.
Briefing the court about the initial investigation, Wattoo said that police had learned that the suspect used to lure children by promising to buy them sweets. When the judge asked if he had any proof, Wattoo said that the suspect had been given a polygraph test that confirmed this claim.
When the court asked why the suspect was clean-shaven even though the initial CCTV footage showed a man with a beard, the prosecutor said that Imran had shaved his beard off after allegedly murdering Zainab.
He further said that the suspect's DNA matched the samples gathered from the crime scene, according to a report released on January 20. Wattoo told the court that investigators had to test the DNA samples gathered from the crime scenes of seven previous incidents of the rape and murder of children in Kasur that occurred over the past year.
After the ATC agreed to grant a 14-day remand, the suspect was taken to the Counter-Terrorism Department headquarters amid heavy security.
Zainab Amin's murder
On January 4, six-year-old Zainab Amin had gone missing when she had gone to a religious tuition centre from where she is believed to have been abducted.
Her body was recovered from a garbage heap on January 9. It was the 12th such incident to occur within a two-kilometre radius of the city over the last year.
Police had confirmed on January 13 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.
Zainab's rape and murder had sparked outrage in Kasur and across the country. The day her body was found, protesters had taken to the streets in Kasur, agitating against perceived police inaction.
On January 23 police arrested Imran after his DNA matched the samples gathered from the crime scene.