LAHORE: After 33 days of manhunt by the Punjab police, the prime suspect in the motorway gang-rape case, Abid Malhi was arrested on Monday from Manga Mandi.
The Counter Terrorism Department and Special Branch. DIG Investigation Lahore Shahzada Sultan, who also heads the JIT, confirmed the arrest.
The Punjab government spokesman Dr. Shahbaz Gill also confirmed Malhi’s arrest on twitter. He said Malhi was arrested from Faisalabad.
The police had been following him, his relatives and any other person he had been in contact with. Plain-clothes cops had been deployed for reconnaissance of his relatives. Their communication was also being monitored.
Investigators spotted two phone numbers. Police doubted the suspect was in contact for help, money and food. They followed these numbers and started waiting for the suspect to appear. As the suspect showed up, the police nabbed him. Investigators are busy investigatinghim. He will be produced before the court on Tuesday (today) for physical remand.
His accomplice, Shafqat Ali, is already on judicial remand. After going into hiding, Abid Malhi evaded multiple police bids due to the police’s ill-planning. In the first raid, he was at his house in Qila Sattar Shah, Sheikhupura, and fled after seeing the police. Reportedly, the team that tracked him had reached earlier than the reinforcements.
Abid Malhi, along with his accomplice Shafqat Ali, had sexually assaulted a woman in front of her three children during a robbery bid on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway near Karol Ghati forest after her car ran out of fuel. She had been travelling from DHA Lahore to Gujranwala after seeing her parents, as her husband had compelled her not to stay at her relatives’ place. She had made a distress call to the National Highways and Motorway Police (NH&MP) narrating her ordeal. However, no one reached for her help.