An anti-terrorism court (ACT) in Pakistan has framed charges against Imran Ali, the man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a seven-old-girl and seven other minors.
On Monday, the ATC indicted Ali and started regular proceedings after the accused refused to accept the charges levelled against him in the challan submitted by the police, the Express Tribune has reported.
ATC Judge Sajjad Ahmad recorded statements of at least 20 prosecution witnesses during Monday's proceedings that lasted for around 11 hours. Judge Ahmad summoned more witnesses from a list of 56 prosecution witnesses to appear before the court on Tuesday.
Earlier, ATC prosecutor Abdul Rauf Wattu informed the court that evidence had been collected against the accused, including the CCTV footage, the DNA test, polygraph test, the accused's clothes and others. The prosecutor also submitted a list of prosecution witnesses before the court, according to the Express Tribune.
As per orders of Lahore High Court, the trial of the accused has to be conducted on a daily basis and should conclude within a week.
Last month, the ATC placed Imran in police remand for 14 days. He was presented before the court from February 8. As of now, he is languishing in Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. The minor, who was a resident of the Kasur district of Pakistan's Punjab province, was kidnapped on her way to a tuition centre on January 4. Five days after her disappearance, she was found raped, dead and buried in a garbage dump on January 9 near Kashmir Chowk.
According to the initial post-mortem report, the minor was strangled to death after being raped multiple times. As per the autopsy, the girl had marks of torture on nose, neck, and other parts of the body, the report said. This incident incited huge protests in Kasur and other major cities of Pakistan.
The protesters had demanded an immediate arrest of the culprit, which resulted in an unprecedented search, where all law enforcement and secret agencies took part. The DNA test was conducted on more 1,100 people living in the vicinity. The massive search led to the arrest of Imran, whose DNA sample matched with those of eight victims.