LAHORE: Lahore police on Monday announced the arrest of 34 more suspects in connection with the assault of a female TikToker and her team at Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day, taking the total number of suspects in custody to 126.
Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani, in a statement, said police teams were working round the clock to arrest all suspects involved in the incident. The provincial police chief said that 15 of the arrested suspects were being sent on judicial remand for identification.
He directed the Lahore DIG investigation to intensify efforts to arrest the remaining suspects with the help of geo-fencing and all evidence including records of Nadra.
The IG further said the elements who subjected women to violence, abuse and ill-treatment “do not deserve any concession” and asked supervisory officers to curb such crimes and share their reports with the central police office.
Ghani also asked police to take measures for protection of women in parks, at bus stands, educational institutions, markets and other public places and arrest culprits involved in gender-based crimes. He stressed that the prosecution of all such elements should not be delayed.
Meanwhile, a local court in Lahore on Monday sent 20 suspects to jail for identification parade, raising the total number of suspects held for the purpose to 90.
Judicial magistrate Faraz Javed Waraich issued the orders on the request of investigators. He asked the police to complete the identification exercise at the earliest.
Body set up to probe
The Punjab police informed the Supreme Court on Monday that it had set up a three-member inquiry committee to fix responsibility for any laxity, oversight, commission or omission on part of the organisation that could have played a part in the humiliation of a woman by hooligans at Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on Aug 14.
A report placed by Inam Ghani, the Inspector General of Punjab, before the human rights cell of the Supreme Court stated that the committee would consist of Additional IG Sardar Ali Khan, DIG Muhammad Yousaf Malik and SSP Athar Ismail Amjad.
The human rights cell had solicited a report on the action taken so far by the provincial police over the incident.
According to the report, so far 30 videos had been collected and 60 still pictures generated from the videos had been sent to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) for face recognition.
Nadra identified nine people as suspects in the episode. The Call Data Record (CDR) and intelligence from the crime scene corroborated the findings, according to the report.
The suspects were arrested and during interrogation they named some of their associates, who were arrested as well.
A total of 92 suspects have so far been taken into custody, the report explained, adding that all of them were interrogated and their role in the event was being ascertained.
Moreover, geo-fencing data has been obtained through coordination with intelligence agencies.
A total of 28,863 communication records were found in the Greater Iqbal Park from 6.30pm to 7.40pm on Aug 14 through geo-fencing. These records were subjected to rigorous analysis and so far 730 numbers have been isolated from the record for scrutiny.
Information about the suspects has also been obtained through Nadra’s verification service system (Verisys), according to the report.
Police have interviewed 407 suspects and shortlisted 92 of them. Forty persons have been sent to the judicial lockup for identification parade.
The report explained that Lahore’s DIG Operations Sajid Kiyani had been transferred and directed to report to the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD). Likewise, SSP Operations Syed Nadeem Abbas and Additional SP Operations Hassan Jehangir were transferred.
The report explained that soon after receiving reports about the disgraceful incident, police dispatched an investigation team to the crime scene. A medical examination of the victim was carried out and her clothes were taken into custody. Amir Suhail, who accompanied the victim to the park, was subjected to a medical test too.