NOWSHERA: The police on Tuesday arrested the suspected rapist and murderer of a nine-year-old girl who was found dead in a graveyard in Nowshera’s Nawa Kalay area some four days ago.

The girl had reportedly gone missing on Dec 27 after she went to a nearby house for learning Quran. She was found dead in an open grave near the Khesghi Road the next day.

Her body carried torture marks, including head injuries. An autopsy later confirmed she had been sexually assaulted before being killed. Addressing a press conference at the police lines here, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mardan division, Mohammad Ali Khan, said the prime suspect in the case had been arrested, terming it a great victory of the police.

The suspect, Yasir, 21, of Usman Khel area of Nowshera Kalan, was the neighbour of the girl’s family and also attended the funeral prayers of the victim. DIG Ali Khan said that the suspect had confessed to the crime, adding his DNA sample matched with the samples taken from the crime scene.

It is to mention here that the police had formed a high-level investigation committee led by Nowshera DPO Mansoor Aman and SP investigations Iftikhar Ali Shah.

The DIG said the police had also formed different bodies to ensure that the investigation process did not violate the fundamental rights of the people involved in the probe.

The suspect is a friend of the victim’s father, the DIG said, adding at least 20 suspects had been interrogated in connection with the case, and over 200 DNA samples taken, while data of more than 2,000 mobile numbers was analysed to trace the killer.

Earlier, a first information report of the incident was registered at the Nowshera Kalan police station under section 302 of PPC, but now terror sections have also been added to the case.

The DIG Mardan stressed upon the religious leaders, schoolteachers and parents to educate the children about how to protect themselves from the people with evil intent.

He also appealed to the mediapersons to play due role in this connection which was very important for prevention of such incidents in future.

Meanwhile, provincial minister for information Shaukat Yousafzai while talking to mediapersons appreciated the efforts of the police for tracing the girl’s killer, and said the government would recommend appreciation certificates and cash amount to the investigation team that arrested the culprit in a ‘very limited time’.

He said he would request Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to extend financial support to the aggrieved family. He vowed that the culprits behind the killing of a minor girl in Abbottabad would also be arrested soon.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2019

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