LAHORE: The victim of the alleged Lahore gang rape case has identified a PML-N youth wing leader as the sole culprit.

Adnan Sanaullah is one of eight young men remanded in custody yesterday following their arrest last month for the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in Mall Road guesthouse. But in a dramatic statement to a local court earlier today she said while one of the co-accused was present in the room, only Sanaullah raped her after drugging her drink. According to Police she had earlier claimed she'd been gang raped.

The case has attracted wide attention because of the alleged involvement of Adnan Sanaullah, a PML-N leader believed to be a close aide of the Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashood Ahmad, and wider concerns of a culture of impunity among young members of the political and business elites. Sanaullah, Abdul Majid, Muhammad Umer, Ameer Ahmad, Haris, Bilawal, Qamar Zaman and Khalid were arrested last month on charges of rape and conspiracy.

The girl also told the court that she had already known the main accused and had agreed to meet him in secret at a guest house after he promised her a birthday gift. “He gave me wine without telling me and then raped me. There was a man named Majid in the room but he did not touch me,” she told the court. She said Sanaullah threatened her with dire consequences if she resisted. 

According to the police she was gang-raped by eight men on December 26th and left unconscious in the Star guest house on Mall Road. Her family learned of the assault when one of the alleged rapists sent an SMS message from his own cell phone. It allegedly 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. 

According to her mother the girl was on her way to a tailor shop with her brother when some unidentified men bundled her into a car and drove away.

Detectives lodged an FIR against eight persons and nominated Adnan Sanaullah as the main suspect. 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.

The judge extended the remand in custody but criticised Police for failing to produce their case records in court today. They were ordered to submit them within the next week and explain their reasons for opposing the suspects’ release.