News Analysis |
The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday rejected the appeal of convict Imran Ali against the death sentence handed to him for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Amin in Kasur earlier this year.
A three-judge bench at the Lahore registry, comprising Justices Asif Saeed Khosa, Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Mansoor Ali Shah, rejected Imran’s appeal, upholding the death penalty handed to him by an anti-terrorism court (ATC).
The ATC gave him four counts of the death penalty, one life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines. The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering Zainab, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
One life sentence, along with a Rs1 million fine, was handed to Imran for committing an “unnatural act”. Two death sentences, accompanied by Rs1 million fine each, were imposed on him under the ATA and the Pakistan Penal Code. A 7-year jail sentence and Rs 100,000 fine was further awarded for concealing the body in a trash heap.
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 Punjab government had declared the arrest of prime suspect Imran Ali on January 23.
Additionally, Rs1 million from the penalties imposed will be paid to the victim’s heirs, the judge had ruled. Imran faces further charges in the cases of at least seven other children he attacked — five of whom were murdered — in a spate of assaults that had stoked fears of a serial child killer was on the loose.
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He has confessed to all eight attacks, including the death of Zainab. Imran had appealed to the Lahore High Court against the sentence but his appeal was dismissed. Zainab’s rape and murder had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9.
Her case was the 12th such incident to occur within a 10 kilometer radius in the city over a 12-month period. 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 Punjab government had declared the arrest of prime suspect Imran Ali on January 23.