LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given a deadline of 24 hours to the police to arrest the remaining accused in the stoning case of a pregnant woman outside the Lahore High Court (LHC) on May 27.
According to a handout, the chief minister issued this direction while chairing a high-level meeting attended by the inspector general of police, home secretary and the capital city police officer.
The initial report about the incident was presented to the chief minister.
CM Shahbaz directed the police to ensure immediate arrest of all of the accused involved in this brutal incident and warned that no laxity would be tolerated in this regard. He said that murder of a woman publicly was highly condemnable especially when police were also present on the scene.
He said that the committee set up to review the pace of investigation into the case should submit its report on a daily basis.
Earlier, the Lahore district and sessions judge informed the LHC that the police had been directed to complete the investigation of stoning case and submit its challan before the trial court within two weeks. The LHC registrar, on the direction of the chief justice, took prompt notice of the matter. Consequently, an FIR (283/14) under Sections 302, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act was registered with Mozang police of Lahore. The LHC directed the Lahore district and sessions judge to ensure efficient and impartial investigation into the case in addition to ensuring arrest of the suspects. In his interim report, the district and session judge submitted that one of the nominated accused, father of victim Farazana, had been arrested while different teams had been dispatched to different cities to arrest the remaining ones.
He also reported that initial investigation had been carried out and that the sub-divisional police officer and the station house officer had been directed to ensure that proper, transparent and even-handed investigation was conducted.
They have been further directed to submit challan to the trial court within the stipulated period of 14 days, the sessions judge added.
According to media reports, the incident occurred in front of Saif Plaza at about 7:45am on May 27 when Farzana, of Nankana Sahib, and her husband Mohammad Iqbal left the office of their counsel for the LHC to appear in a criminal case lodged by her family. Farzana’s father Azeem, brothers Zahid and Ghulam Ali, and other family members intercepted her and started beating her with bricks, causing her instant death. According to witnesses, Farzana sought help from onlookers, including some police standing there, but nobody came forward to rescue her.
The Mozang police later shifted Farzana’s body to the morgue and got the injured examined.
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