Abid Malihi’s Wife Taken into Custody

On Wednesday night, the wife of the prime suspect in the motorway gang-rape case was taken into custody for questioning. Officials released a statement on Thursday stating that they would interrogate her thoroughly regarding the whereabouts of her husband. 

A deputy superintendent (DSP) belonging to the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), Hasnain Haider reported that they had arrested Abid Malihi’s wife from his parents’ home.  

Initially, the wife of the suspect claimed that she had no idea of his whereabouts. She stated that her husband had escaped when a raid was conducted in their house by law enforcement officials. After Abid’s escape, she arrived at Manga Mandi in Lahore. 

The suspect’s wife also added that she had not been in contact with him since. Malihi continues to evade arrest. 

DSP Haider also informed the public that law enforcement agencies are doing everything they can to trace the location of the key suspect. They have taken in various people for interrogation but, have not yet been able to yield results. 

In the previous week, a woman was gang-raped by two robbers on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway. The mother of two begged to be let go as her children watched. Soon after the incident came to light, the entire country was enraged. Sexual violence against women was brought into national focus and protests were orchestrated for justice. Shafqat Ali alias Bagga and Abid Malihi are main suspects in the case. The former is currently in jail. 

Inam Ghani, the Inspector General of Punjab Police said that a few possible hideouts of Malihi had been identified. A possible hideout at Sheikhupura was also raided in the hopes of finding the culprit but to no avail. 

An official also reported that the police authorities are now focusing their search on a few cities such as Lahore, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura etc.

Abid Malihi, who is suspected to have led a gang of four, is an alleged repetitive criminal. Various police stations in Punjab have revealed registered complaints against the suspect for different criminal cases. 

Subsequent arrests

On Monday, Usman Buzdar, the Chief Minister of Punjab himself announced the arrest of Shafqat. As per the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore, he was imprisoned based on a 14-day judicial remand. 

Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Police conducted a raid on a house in the Okara District of Punjab. It was there that they arrested Shafqat from, who immediately confessed to the crime. The DNA samples collected from the crime scene have yet to be matched to those of the prisoner. 

A senior official provided more details regarding the arrest saying that Shafqat had been hiding out in his sister’s house. After the CTD conducted an intelligence-based operation (IBO), they were able to conclude that Abid had contacted Shafqat several times before and after the rape. 

The man in custody reported that Abid raped the victim first and then proceeded to threaten Shafqat if he did not commit the offence as well. As per the latter, he was forced into the crime with a gun on his head if he showed any sympathy for the victim.