October 01, 2019
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday announced that the serial killer behind the murders of four minor boys in Kasur district has been identified.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the chief minister said that 27-year-old Suhail Shehzad had been identified using polygraphic and DNA testing.
"Geo-fencing for 1,649 suspects was done and DNA samples of 1,543 were tested," said Buzdar.
The chief minister confirmed that the suspect was behind all four cases of sodomy and murder which shook Kasur last month and shone fresh light on the continued prevalence of child sexual abuse in the country. "The case against him will be pursued in an anti-terrorism court," he announced.
"I will oversee the Chunian case myself," declared Buzdar, referring to the tehsil in Kasur where the remains of the minor boys were discovered.
According to the Punjab inspector general of police, the suspect is a resident of Chunian's Rana Town and committed the crimes in June, August and September.
Four children — aged between eight and 12 years — had gone missing since June with the latest, Faizan, 8, disappearing on the night of September 16.
The remains of three of them were found on September 17 from sand dunes near Chunian bypass.
Chief Minister Buzdar had taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the Punjab police chief.
Meanwhile, protests were held to express concern over lawlessness and failure of police to protect the lives of people.
In the last few years, Kasur has been rocked by multiple incidents of abuse, rape and killing of children. In January 2018, six-year-old Zainab Ansari was found dead in a trash heap near Shahbaz Khan Road, five days after she went missing. Hers was the 12th such incident to have occurred within a 10-kilometre radius in Kasur over a 12-month period. Her death had sparked nationwide protests and outrage.
The prime suspect, Imran Ali, had been arrested on January 23, 2018, and on June 12 the Supreme Court had turned down his appeal against the death sentence, noting that he had admitted to committing similar offences with eight other minor victims. Ali was subsequently executed in October last year.
In 2015, Kasur’s Hussain Khanwala village had attracted worldwide attention when a child pornography ring was busted. Hundreds of video clips had emerged showing a gang forcing dozens of minor boys and girls to perform sexual acts and filming them. The gang had also used the videos to blackmail families of the children and extorted millions in cash and jewellery from them.