The prime accused in the high-profile rape and murder case of eight-year-old Zainab in Pakistan on Wednesday was sent on a 14-day remand by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore, Express Tribune reported. Amid heavy security, the accused, Imran Ali, 23, a neighbour of Zainab, was presented before the court, where Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) Mansoor Ali Shah ordered a daily hearing of the case.
Speaking to the media after the court’s proceedings, Justice Shah was quoted by Express Tribune as saying, “I am also addressing the media to let the chief minister know that there will be daily hearings on the case.” He added that all the district judges have been directed to ensure daily hearings in order to reach a verdict at the earliest.
The accused was arrested on Tuesday in Punjab province of Pakistan. A report in Express Tribune added that Imran also faces charges of murdering eight other girls in Pakistan’s Kasur, which is situated some 50-kms from Lahore.
Zainab had gone missing on January 5, while she was on her way to a religious tuition centre near her house in Kasur. Her parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah at the time of her abduction and she was living with her maternal aunt. A CCTV footage had earlier revealed the victim walking with a stranger near Peerowala Road. Her body was recovered from a heap of trash on January 9 near the Shahbaz Khan Road.
The heinous act had rocked the nation, which led to vehement protests from locals.