The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday took suo motu notice of the murder of Asma Rani, a third-year medical student who was shot dead in Kohat allegedly for refusing a marriage proposal.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has ordered that a report on the case be submitted in court in the next 24 hours.
"We heard tales that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police has become a lot better; what is the force doing after this girl was murdered in Kohat?" the chief justice asked, adding that there seems to be no mechanism set for the investigation.
Last week, the prime accused in the case, Mujahid Afridi, and his accomplice, Sadiqullah, reportedly opened fire at Asma who had been visiting her family in Kohat during a session break. Mujahid and Sadiqullah had fled the crime scene soon after.
The victim had received three bullets and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she had identified Mujahid as the assailant before succumbing to her injuries on Sunday.
Sadiqullah, who had been named in the first information report registered in the case, was arrested on Tuesday morning after police conducted raids in Kohat.
The arrest comes a day after police confirmed that Mujahid had fled the country for Saudi Arabia from Benazir Bhutto Airport Islamabad on an Umrah visa right after the murder.
According to police officials, Sadiqullah and Mujahid are brothers.
Mardan girl's rape and murder
Justice Nisar took notice of Asma's case while conducting a hearing of the suo motu notice on the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl found dead in a sugarcane field in Mardan on January 14.
The toddler was playing outside her house in Mardan when she was picked up by an unidentified assailant on January 13, District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar had told Dawn earlier. A day later, she was found dead in a sugarcane field near her house.
Local authorities and doctors had expressed suspicion that the toddler was assaulted before she was strangled to death.
In the court today, the chief justice rejected the police report on the case which was presented to him on Saturday.
"The investigation in the case cannot move further until the report is provided," Justice Nisar said during the hearing, questioning why the KP police had to ask the Lahore lab to help with processing the forensics.
"Is the KP police incapable of running its own forensics?" the judge remarked, asking how long the provincial police would take to catch the men responsible in the case.
The deputy inspector general of Mardan police, who was present in court during the hearing, said that at least 300 people have already been questioned in the case.
He also told the court that samples from 280 people have been collected and are currently being stored at the Bacha Khan Medical College.
"Why have the samples not been sent to the forensic lab in Lahore?" Justice Nisar questioned. He was told that the samples will be sent to Lahore today.
"Is the police not going to conduct any other investigation without the forensic samples? Does the police not have any informants?" Justice Nisar asked, visibly displeased with KP police's investigation into the case.
The case was adjourned until next Tuesday.