Police arrest fugitive in highway gang rape case in Pakistan

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Pakistani police

THE prime suspect has been arrested in a highway gang rape case in Pakistan that sparked nationwide outrage and protests after a top cop blamed the victim, police said on Tuesday.

“Abid Malhi, 27, was arrested 33 days after the crime near the eastern city of Lahore,’’ Nayab Haider, a spokesperson for the Punjab police, told dpa.

Haider said that the suspect had also been booked in a gang rape case in 2013; however, he managed to get released on bail.

In September, he along with an accomplice raped and robbed a woman who ran out of fuel on a highway in the middle of night near Lahore.

The victim’s young children were present. A sample of Malhi’s DNA was taken from the victim and it matched the sample taken from the case in 2013, allowing police to identify him.

The other suspect was arrested on Sept. 14. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant Shahbaz Gill pledged that the suspect would be “punished according to law.”

After the crime, Lahore police chief Umer Sheikh said it was the woman’s fault for leaving the house at night and driving along a deserted road, instead of an alternative route.

The rape and victim-blaming triggered an outcry on social media as politicians, rights activists, writers, lawyers and television celebrities joined their voices to call for his removal and justice for the rape survivors. (dpa/NAN)

– Oct. 13, 2020 @ 11:45 GMT |

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