Police claimed on Thursday to have arrested one of the three suspects booked for the alleged rape of an 18-year-old woman on the M-4 motorway near Gojra city in Punjab’s Toba Tek Singh district on Monday.
The suspects, including two men and a woman, have been booked under sections 365 B (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage or illicit intercourse) and 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the first-information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the victim’s maternal aunt told police that her niece had received a message on her mobile phone, asking to reach a location in Gojra at 2:30pm on Monday to interview for a job at a boutique.
The complainant said that when she and her niece reached the location, the suspects asked her to send the victim with them to Faisalabad for the interview.
She said she let her niece travel with them and the two male suspects raped the victim twice, holding her at gunpoint, on the M4 motorway while on their way to Faisalabad.
The suspects later left the woman at a deserted place near the Faisalabad Interchange and fled, the FIR stated.
Confirming these details, Toba Tek Singh’s acting District Police Officer Mahavar Khan said that one of the suspects had been arrested while raids were being carried out for the arrests of the other two suspects.
According to police, the woman’s medical examination has been conducted, which confirmed that she had been subjected to sexual assault. A DNA test is also being conducted.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the Punjab IGP have also taken notice of the incident and sought a report on the matter from the Faisalabad regional police officer.
The incident has come as a grim reminder of last year’s Lahore-Sialkot motorway gang-rape case.
In last year’s incident, a woman was gang-raped on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway in front of her children while she was waiting for help after calling the motorway police’s helpline 130 when her car developed a fault.
Earlier this year, an anti-terrorism court had awarded death sentences to two convicts — Abid Ali Malhi and Shafqat Ali alias Bagga — in the case.