LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has recorded the statements of five more prosecution witnesses during the hearing of the motorway gang-rape case.
ATC Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta conducted the case hearing at Camp Jail, wherein jail authorities produced the prime accused and co-accused, Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali.
The court recorded the statements of two forensic experts, two judicial magistrates, and a police sub-inspector while the defence counsel also completed the cross-examination of four witnesses during the proceedings on Saturday.
The court has adjourned further proceedings till March 8.
Deputy Prosecutor General Hafiz Asghar and Deputy Prosecutor General Waqar Bhatti represented the prosecution whereas advocates Sher Gull Qureshi and Qasim Arain appeared on behalf of the accused.
The court had earlier recorded the statements of 23 prosecution witnesses after the accused denied the charges of being indicted. In addition, Police had also submitted a list of 53 witnesses.
Gujjarpura police had filed a challan against the accused, wherein they were declared guilty. Police had requested the court to award strict punishment to the accused as sufficient evidence was available against them.
Last year in September, the men, whilst armed, raped a woman stranded with her children on the motorway before robbing her of money and other valuables.
Abid Malhi and his accomplice Shafqat alias Bagga were at the Lahore-Sialkot motorway on September 9 with the intention to rob a motorist when they saw a stationary white-coloured car on the roadside.
The two approached the vehicle, threatened and robbed its occupants, and then gang-raped the woman in front of her children after dragging them to a nearby field.
Lahore CCPO blamed the motorway rape victim for the choice of route, travelling late at night.
The incident sparked protests and anger across the country, raising questions on the overall law and order situation of the country.
Shafqat was arrested first, in September 2020, and after his DNA matched with samples taken from the crime scene. After that, he was remanded into police custody.
A month after evading police, Malhi, the prime suspect, was also arrested from Faisalabad in October 2020.