LAHORE    -   Over two dozen investigation teams formed by the government to probe the gang-rape incident on the Motorway remained busy the entire day on Friday collecting  the evidence from the crime scene and other sources but failed to find any clue about the criminals.

In its first report submitted to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday, the Punjab police claimed to have arrested 15 suspects during a search operation conducted in the adjoining areas of the crime site.

A five-member committee constituted by the chief minister with the provincial law minister as the convener held its meeting on Friday to investigate the case. An investigation team formed by the provincial police chief also remained busy working on the case on Friday but could not get at the rapists.

Other investigation teams including the one led by Lahore DIG (Investigations) Shahzada Sultan and a crime investigation agency separately working on the case did not report any further progress on the gruesome incident.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat and IGP Inam Ghani inspected the crime scene on Friday as part of the investigation into the case. The law minister in his media talk earlier in the day termed it a “blind incident” with no clear evidence that will have to be collected through investigation. He said that 28 different teams were investigating the case and the evidence collected so far from the site had been sent for forensic examination. He also informed reporters that a medical examination of the victim had also been conducted.

He termed the case a challenge for the police as well the government. He said as many as 500 additional vehicles were being purchased for the police to improve police patrolling on the highways. Law minister further stated that the government would take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.  

Responding to a question, Raja Basharat said that the Punjab government will also investigate as to why the motorway remained unmanned since its inauguration.

Punjab IGP Inman Ghani told the media that police had obtained data from NADRA of men between 25 and 35 years of age living in the nearby villages besides conducting profiling of 70 young suspects. The police chief also claimed that police had got some clues from the crime scene that could lead them to the culprits.

Also, Law Minister Raja Basharat chaired a meeting at civil secretariat on Friday in connection with the Motorway incident. Additional Chief Secretary Home, Additional IG Special Branch, DIG Investigation Punjab, DG Forensic Authority, NHA and Motorway Police officers also attended the meeting.  

The NHA officials told the meeting that they had been sending letters to Motorway officials since January this year, but security had not yet been deployed. The law minister said that this was a very tragic incident for which strict action would be taken after determining the responsibility.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday contacted the Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat who is heading the investigation committee probing the motorway rape case. The Law Minister apprised the CM about the progress made in the investigation of motorway rape case.

The CM directed to move forward the investigation in the scientific manner adding that investigation should be completed in the stipulated period of time and all aspects should be examined. “It is a test case which will have to be brought to the logical end without wasting any time. I should be continuously informed about the progress made in the investigation”, the CM further said.  He assured that the perpetrators will not escape from the stricter punishment according to the law.

Also, Information Minister Punjab Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, in his statement on the Lahore Motorway Rape incident, said that the Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar was closely monitoring the ongoing investigation. A high level committee headed by Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat was investigating the matter with the assistance of Additional Chief Secretary Home, Additional IG Special Branch, DIG Investigation, Forensic Department and CIA using traditional and modern investigative methods. Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan said that this horrendous incident had left the whole nation mourning. People involved in such a gruesome act will be penalised come what may, he stressed.