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Pakistani minor girl's murderer handed 4 counts of death sentence

Pakistani minor girl's murderer handed 4 counts of death sentence

24-year-old Imran Ali Naqshbandi was given four death sentences, a life sentence and a huge fine on Saturday by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan for mercilessly raping and murdering six-year-old Zainab Ansari last month. Her death brought rampaging mobs onto the streets in search of her killer.

Imran Ali, 23, has been sentenced four times to capital punishment for kidnapping, rape, murder and terrorism, and to life imprisonment for unnatural Act with a minor, reported Punjab Attorney General Syed Ehtesham Qadir.

The rape and murder of Zainab Ansari was the 12th such case in Kasur district in the previous year, according to local media reports.

Imran Ali is sentenced to death on four counts but Zainab's mother deems this as insufficient for the crimes he committed.

The verdict was announced in Kot Lakhpat jail amid tight security.

The trial in the case was concluded on Thursday when ATC-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad reserved the verdict after cross examination of all the prosecution witnesses was completed by state counsel Muhammad Sultan who was appointed by the trial court to represent Imran Ali.

But neither public executions have ever existed in Pakistan nor Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 endorses it; though one public hanging of a killer and rapist took place in 1981 in Lahore in Pappu Rape and Murder Case. The post-mortem of the minor revealed that she had been raped before being murdered. Journalists were stopped 500 metres from the prison and only relatives of the victim were allowed in the court.

Police identified Ali as one of Zainab's neighbours, and CCTV footage on the day she was abducted showed her walking off calmly with a man. Her body was found in a trash heap five days later.

At least a dozen suspects were arrested in connection with that ring, with two convictedso far.

The Lahore High Court has directed the trial court to give a verdict within seven days of the suspect's indictment.

He did not say how Imran's execution would be carried out, but many Pakistanis have demanded he be publicly hanged.

The girl's family registered a complaint with the local police after she went missing on January 4.

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