July 29, 2022
By Rehan Piracha
LAHORE: Inspector General KP in a media briefing said that the suspect was identified as Sohail who used the aliases of ‘Hazrat Ali’ and ‘Malang’ and was a serial rapist-killer with psychopathic tendencies.
“The rapes occurred on successive Sundays in the same vicinity on July 3rd, 10th and 17th this month and all of the victims were of minor age,” said IGP Moazzam Jah Ansari in his media briefing in the Central Police Office in Peshawar.
“First the suspect used to commit rape then later strangle victims with their headscarves,” he told the journalists. “The suspect managed to kill two of the three children after raping them, but the third girl survived as she fainted after the suspect strangled her.”
Timeline of the rapes
The first incident of the rape-murder was reported in the limits of the Sharqi Police Station on July 3. A minor girl went missing after leaving her Railway Colony home in the evening. The girl’s body was found at 11 pm the same day from the locality.
A week later, on Eid day, a six-year-old girl was sexually assaulted within the Gulberg police station jurisdiction. The suspect escaped after he thought he had left her for dead. in actuality however, the girl had fallen unconscious. In the following week, an 8-year-old girl was strangled to death in Kalabari Sadar after being sexually assaulted.
The slippers that helped trace the suspect
The provincial police launched a massive surveillance and investigation campaign to trace the suspect, who was among 500 other suspects whom the police interrogated during its investigation.
“The suspect was cunning and meticulous as he kept changing his clothes and appearance after each of the incidents,” the IGP said.
The police went through thousands of hours of closed circuit television (CCTV) footage obtained from cameras installed in shops, schools, plazas and institutions in the vicinity of the crime scenes in Cantonment. Police also monitored around 23,000 cell phones operating in and around the time of rapes and murders and conducted geo-fencing of 10 sites.
The investigation became all the more challenging as the police said that the suspect did not have a cellphone and so could not be traced via signals. However what actually led to the arrest of the suspect was his appearance on police radar after CCTV footage showed him disembarking from a rickshaw near the location of the second incident of rape on Eid day in Peshawar.
The rickshaw driver and a fellow rider were also interrogated who eventually gave incriminating information about Sohail’s role in the rape-cum-murders of minor girls.
“The suspect used to change his dress in the very incident but luckily he used to wear the same slippers that helped police trace him,” the IGP said.
Police said that they have conducted a DNA test on the suspect and the results matched with the victims of the three incidents, police officials said.
According to the police, Sohail, a resident of Safeed Dheri locality of the city, worked as an embroider at a shop in Saddar Shafi market in the city. The suspect’s father had passed away 16 years ago, leaving him to find work in other districts of the country. The IGP said the suspect claimed that he was also sexually abused in his childhood. The suspect has confessed to the crimes, the provincial police chief added.
Meanwhile, independent reports have revealed that the surviving child is in stable condition, and admitted to a hospital.