Peshawar - The main suspect of rape and murder of a 4-year-old girl in Mardan recorded his confession in front of a judge on Monday.

According to the police, the labourer at a hotel, is a relative of the victim who lived on the same street as her. The15-year-old took the child to a sugarcane field near her house when a wedding ceremony was underway in the area on January 13. Her body was found in the fields the next day.

He was arrested on Dec 7 after his DNA specimen matched the blood sample collected from the field. After his confession was recorded in court on Monday, he was handed to the police on judicial remand.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police had sought help from the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) which issued its report on the DNA samples the day before the suspect's arrest. The Supreme Court has also taken suo motu notice of the Mardan case. During a previous hearing of the case, prior to the suspect's arrest, the court had taken the police of north-westren province to task over its 'less than exemplary' performance in tracking down the suspect and solving the case.

Rape suspects nailed

The Peshawar police arrested two of the four suspects accused of raping a transgender person in Faqirabad area of the provincial capital, DawnNews reported. The suspects, one of whom has been nominated as the prime suspect, allegedly abducted the victim at gunpoint with the help of two accomplices and drove her away "to an unknown place" and subjected her to sexual abuse.

A first information report (FIR) was filed soon after the incident took place on February 10 at Faqirabad police station.

According to FIR, one of the suspects has been nominated as rapist while the other three were his accomplices. However, while talking to DawnNews, the victim said she was assaulted by three of her abductors.

The victim claimed she knew one of the arrested suspects as he frequented her shows. She alleged that police had earlier refused to file an FIR, a claim negated by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Faqirabad Tahir Dawar who said police took swift action once the case was reported.

The arrested suspects were remanded to the police for two days after they were produced in a local court in front of Magistrate Obaidullah.

Around 48 rape cases have been registered in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since January 2017, most of them being gang rape cases, transgender activist Qamar Naseem told DawnNews. He said police had sent the victim for a medical examination and further reports were awaited.