LAHORE - An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has issued the death warrants for Imran Ali, who was convicted of rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab and nine other minors.

He will be hanged on October 17 at Lahore's Central Jail, according to an order issued by ATC Judge Sheikh Sajjad Ahmed here on Friday.

The order authorising the jail superintendent to carry out the death sentence was issued following the rejection of convict’s clemency appeal by President Arif Alvi on October 10.

Imran had confessed to raping and killing minor girls Ayesha Asif, Eman Fatima, Noor Fatima, Laiba Saleem, Zaineb Amin and others.

Seven-year-old 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.

His DNA matched with samples taken from seven other minor girls, who too were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur district.

Imran himself confessed to assaulting several children at an under-construction site and two in a garbage heap.

Out of the total seven rape and murder cases registered against Imran, the court has given its verdict in five. Cumulatively, he has been sentenced to 21 counts of death, three life sentences and a cumulative 23 years in jail. Two cases against him remain pending.

In Zainab case, the trial court on February 17 gave him four death penalties for kidnapping, raping and murdering the child girl, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act.

He was further handed one life term imprisonment, a 7-year additional jail term and Rs4.1 million fine under different other charges.

Imran filed an appeal before the Lahore High Court against the death sentence handed to him in Zainab case in February, claiming his trial was not fair and pleading for annulment of the verdict. His appeal was rejected.

The Supreme Court's Lahore Registry on June 12 also dismissed his appeal, noting that the petitioner had admitted committing similar offences with eight other minor victims and "in that backdrop, he did not deserve any sympathy in the matter of his sentences".

 

 

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