An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Tuesday convicted Sohail Shahzad for kidnapping, raping and murdering a minor boy in Chunian and handed him the death sentences on three counts.
Shahzad was arrested by police on October 1 in a case pertaining to the rape and murder of four minors in Chunian. Four children — aged between eight and 12 years — had gone missing since June this year with the latest, eight-year-old Faizan, disappearing on the night of September 16.
The remains of three of them were found on September 17 from sand dunes near Chunian bypass, sending shock waves among the area residents who held protests to express concern over the continued lawlessness and failure of police to protect the lives of people.
Shahzad was arrested almost two weeks later, after his DNA matched with samples recovered from the remains of a victim. He is still facing trial under charges of raping and killing three other boys.
ATC court judge Mohammad Iqbal read out the verdict today. The convict was handed death sentence on three counts [367-A and 302-B of Pakistan Penal Code and section 7(a) of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997] and life imprisonment on another [377 of PPC]. He has been ordered by the court to pay a fine of Rs3 million on three separate counts in addition to Rs200,000 compensation to the legal heirs of the victim. In case of failure to pay compensation and fine, he will have to serve additional six months.
The trial against the convict was held at Kot Lakhpat Jail due to security concerns. During the trial, a total of 23 witnesses recorded their statements against the convict.