Will Zainab’s killer be hanged in public?

Lahore  –  Will the killer of minor girl Zainab be hanged in public or in Kot Lakhpat Lahore? This will become clear today when the Punjab home secretary appears before the Lahore High Court today.

The LHC on Monday summoned the Punjab home secretary today (Tuesday) for the hearing in the appeal filed for public hanging of seven-year-old Zainab’s murderer Imran Ali.

The petition was filed by Amin Ansari, the father of Zainab who was raped and murdered by the convict in Kasur. A two-member bench consisting of Justice Sardar Shamim Ahmed and Justice Shehbaz Rizvi was hearing the petition.

Through his Advocate Ishtiaq Chaudhry, the petitioner said that the convict is a serial killer and will be hanged on Wednesday. The petitioner submitted that all appeals of the convict had been dismissed by available legal forums — the high court, Supreme Court and president of Pakistan. He said the trial court had also issued death warrants of the convict for Oct 17.

Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 empowers the government to hang a convict publicly, the petitioner says complaining that the government was not complying with the law available on the subject. He submitted that the government may kindly be ordered to ensure that the convict is hanged publicly to satisfy the requirement of deterrence in society.

After hearing the arguments, the bench issued a notice to the Punjab home secretary to appear in court today.

Last Friday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) issued the black warrants for Imran, who was convicted of rape and murder of Zainab and nine other minors. He will be executed on October 17 at Lahore’s Central Jail, according to an order issued by ATC Judge Sheikh Sajjad Ahmed.

Zainab’s father filed the petition under Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Amin Ansari in his petition stated that the Anti-Terrorism Act’s clause 22 allows the government to publically hang a convict, and sought the same for Imran.

The order authorising the jail superintendent to carry out the death sentence was issued following the rejection of convict’s mercy appeal by President Arif Alvi. He had confessed to raping and killing minor girls Ayesha Asif, Eman Fatima, Noor Fatima, Laiba Saleem, Zaineb Amin and others. Zainab was abducted on January 4 from near her aunt’s house in Kasur and was found dead in a garbage heap five days later. Assault on Zainab sparked outrage and protests across the country. Her case was the twelfth such incident which occurred within a 10 kilometre radius in Kasur city over a period of 12 months.

#JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children and riots broke out in Kasur in which two people were killed. The authorities got to Imran through a DNA match in Zainab case and arrested him on January 23. Investigations revealed he was a serial criminal.


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