News Desk |
As per the court orders, Imran Ali, convicted of raping and murdering seven-year-old Zainab and several others, was hanged in the Central Jail Kot Lakhpat on Wednesday at 5:30 am. According to the details, Imran Ali was executed in the presence of both Magistrate Adil Sarwar and Zainab’s father Muhammad Ameen.
An ambulance had also arrived at the scene, accompanied by a brother of the convict as well as two of his friends. A medical officer and Kot Lakhpat’s superintendent were in the jail as well. Contingents of police and anti-riot forces surrounded Kot Lakhpat jail at the time of Ali’s hanging.
On Jan 9, a police constable deputed to trace the girl, recovered her body from a heap of trash near the Shahbaz Khan Road.
Talking to the media after the execution, Ansari regretted that the authorities did not allow the live telecast of the hanging. “Zainab would have been seven years, two months old today,” he said. “Her mother is devastated from grief.” Ansari also thanked the chief justice of Pakistan and said that the “murderer had met his fate today”.
After the execution, Ali’s family — accompanied by police contingents — took his body to Kasur. Late on Tuesday evening, jail authorities had arranged a last meeting of some 57 relatives with the death row prisoner.
Read more: Should Zainab’s murderer be hanged publicly?
Zainab’s rape and murder – the 12th such incident to occur within a 10-kilometer radius in Kasur in one year – had sparked outrage and protests across the country following the recovery of the child’s body from a trash heap a week after she went missing.
The heinous nature of the crime had seen immediate riots break out in Kasur — in which two people were killed — while #JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children.
The ATC had on Feb 17, 2018, handed down the death sentence on four counts to the 24-year-old convict, following a four-day jail trial at Kot Lakhpat Jail.
Zainab had gone to a religious tuition center near her house in the Road Kot area on Jan 4 from where she is believed to have been abducted. Her parents had been in Saudi Arabia performing Umrah, according to her family, and she had been living with a maternal aunt.
Soon after her abduction, her panicked family had received footage showing her walking with a stranger near Peerowala Road. On Jan 9, a police constable deputed to trace the girl, recovered her body from a heap of trash near the Shahbaz Khan Road.
Police had said that the girl seemed to have been killed four or five days earlier. A first information report had been registered against the disappearance of the girl on Jan 5, with the victim’s paternal uncle as the complainant in the case. Murder charges were added to the FIR on Jan 9, after the victim’s body was recovered.
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 court had further awarded life imprisonment to the convict under section 377 of PPC (unnatural offence/sodomy) and seven-year jail term under section 201 of PPC (dumping the dead body).
The Punjab government had declared the arrest of Ali, the prime suspect, on January 23 after a widespread manhunt. The ATC had on Feb 17, 2018, handed down the death sentence on four counts to the 24-year-old convict, following a four-day jail trial at Kot Lakhpat Jail.
The death penalty was handed down under four sections of laws including 364-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) (kidnapping a person under the age of fourteen), 376 of the PPC (rape), 302-B of the PPC (murder) and section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 (for terrorizing society by an act).
Read more: Zainab: Daughter of Eve
The court had further awarded life imprisonment to the convict under section 377 of PPC (unnatural offence/sodomy) and seven-year jail term under section 201 of PPC (dumping the dead body). The court had also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on the convict to be paid to the legal heirs of the victim, in addition to a collective fine of Rs3.2m imposed under different sections of law.