Qari Muhammad Ikram, a local religious cleric and the main accused in the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl in the Faqeerabad area of Attock, is still at large as police have failed to arrest the suspect even after six days of the harrowing incident.
The police have nominated the cleric, who hailed from Kohat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in the FIR on a complaint of the victim’s father but he has fled the area and went into hiding.
Despite the nomination of the accused in the FIR, the police have failed to arrest the suspect. Relatives of the victim, who was raped and murdered on June 13, said that the accused has reached his native town and gone into hiding due to the laxity of police.
The accused has locked his place before disappearing after committing the rape and murder. On the night between June 13 and 14, the girl’s body was found in a cemetery in Faqirabad. On the complaint of the victim’s father, police had registered a case of rape, murder and torture against Qari Muhammad Ikram.
As soon as the incident came to light, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz took notice of the incident and ordered local police to arrest the accused immediately. The Punjab chief minister was scheduled to reach Attock to offer condolence to the family of the deceased but the visit was postponed due to inclement weather.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the police have not been able to arrest the accused while geo-fencing of the area has been completed. The girl’s autopsy report has not yet been received. Three police teams have been formed to trace the accused.
The Punjab Forensic Laboratory team comprising experts also visited the crime scene and collected vital evidence. According to the sources, the accused’s mobile phone is switched off since June 13. The sources said that the police teams also questioned close friends of the accused but have so far failed to trace him.
At the request of the Attock police, Kohat police also raided the house of the accused but no headway could be made concerning the arrest of the suspect.
A police spokesman said that the police investigation is progressing very fast and a breakthrough is expected very soon. As it is a high-profile case, all senior officers are closely monitoring the case, he said.