The Supreme Court on Saturday wrapped up the suo moto notice on Zainab murder case after the Punjab Inspector General Arif Nawaz told the court that a challan of the case had been submitted in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a suo motu case on the grisly rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur.

The court expressed satisfaction over the investigation of police into the matter and concluded the hearing after reviewing a report submitted by the Punjab IGP.

The trial of the suspected rapist and murderer of Zainab and seven other girls also began on Saturday in an ATC in Lahore.

On Friday, the ATC had granted police 14-day judicial remand of the suspect after a detailed challan against him was submitted in court by the prosecution. Police had kept the suspect in physical remand for about 16 days. The suspect had first been remanded to police custody for 14 days following his arrest last month. The court had subsequently granted the police an additional three-day remand after he was nominated in seven other similar cases.

The deputy prosecutor general had told the court that during the investigation, the suspect had confessed to his involvement in the rape and murder of seven children in Kasur, apart from Zainab.

The trial of the case would be held in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. The court had also decided that hearings of the trial will be conducted on a daily basis and the case will be completed within seven days.

Zainab's rape and murder last month had sparked outrage across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on Jan 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9. Her case is the 12th such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over the past year.

Police had confirmed on Jan 13 that the results of DNA testing of samples collected from the crime scenes pointed towards the involvement of one culprit in at least seven similar cases in the district. The Punjab government had declared the arrest of the prime suspect on January 23.

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