LAHORE - A PML-N youth leader and seven others accused of gang-raping a 15 year old girl must remain in custody after police failed to produce their case records at a bail hearing today.

Police were set to oppose their release on bail at a hearing today to allow them to continue their investigation, but they were criticized by the judge when they failed to provide their evidence in court. They were ordered to return within the next week to explain their reasons for opposing the suspects’ release.

The case has attracted wide attention because of the alleged involvement of Adnan Sanaullah, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz youth wing who is believed to be a close aide of the Punjab education minister Rana Mashood Ahmad. Sanaullah, Abdul Majid, Muhammad Umer, Ameer Ahmad, Haris, Bilawal, Qamar Zaman and Khalid were arrested last month for the gang-rape of a 15 year old girl in Lahore’s Star guest house on Mall Road.

On December 26th, the victim was allegedly kidnapped by eight men, taken to the guest house and raped by each of the accused. Her family learned of the assault when one of the alleged rapists sent an sms message from his own cell phone. It said “your daughter is lying unconscious in room 230 of a hotel on The Mall.” 

The family and police searched a number of hotels in the area before they found her, still unconscious after being forced to drink strong liquor. She was rushed to the Services Hospital where she is still receiving treatment but her condition is now stable. Tests confirmed she had been gang-raped.

According to her mother her daughter was on her way to a tailor shop with her brother when some unidentified men bundled her into a car and drove away. The victim has not yet been able to give a witness statement to the court.

According to the police the main accused, Adnan Sanaullah had known the victim and her family for some time and was a friend of their daughter.

Detectives lodged an FIR against eight persons an nominated Adnan Sanaullah as the main suspect, in the case. They are accused of rape under Section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code and conspiracy under Section 506.

The suspects have denied the allegations and claimed they are being held illegally in custody.