LAHORE - Robbers raped a 32-year-old woman at gunpoint during a house robbery in Gujjarpura on early Thursday, police sources claimed.

Three dacoits equipped with automatic weapons forced their entry into a house and held up the family members at gunpoint. The gunmen also collected cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth one million rupees and fled.

A police official said three to four gunmen entered the house, locked the children and male members into a room, and started teasing the housewife. “Then, they took the woman to an adjacent room and raped her one by one,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

A close relative of the victim told the police that the robbers remained present in the house for more than three hours. The police reached the spot when the robbers had escaped.

A police spokesman last night said that Lahore DIG (Operations) Shahzad Akbar visited the crime scene on Thursday afternoon. SP Civil Lines Muhammad Afzal, Gujjarpura DSP and SHO also accompanied the officer.

The gruesome incident sparked fear and anger in the densely populated locality as dozens of people gathered outside the victim’s house. They also chanted slogans against the police over worsening law and order situation.

During his visit, the spokesman said, the DIG assured the victim family that the criminals would be brought to justice very soon. He said that special raiding teams were also constituted to identify and arrest the criminals. The police investigators also recorded the statements of the victim family.

The spokesman also claimed that one suspect was being interrogated by police in connection with the gang rape and house robbery incident. He said that a criminal case was also registered against unknown criminals and police were investigating the incident thoroughly.

Three injured in apartment fire

Three men sustained burns when fire broke out inside an apartment in Nishat Colony on Thursday, rescue workers said.

An official said dozens of rescuers along with a firefighting unit were sent to the site to control the fire which erupted in upper portion of a multi-storey apartment.

Firefighters say they believe the blaze broke out due to short-circuiting in a room of the apartment. Three persons were rescued and shifted to hospital with multiple burns. They were identified by rescuers as Usman, 20, Safdar, 35, and Akram 33.