LAHORE: At least 12 people have been arrested on suspicions of sexually assaulting a woman on Lahore-Sialkot motorway, a top official said.
Shahbaz Gill, Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication, said that Lahore police chief was leading the investigation team on the order of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
He said that investigators were using CCTV footage and DNA test to identify the suspects.
Two armed men allegedly raped a woman stranded with her children on the motorway on Wednesday before robbing her of money and other valuables, according to a police report on the incident.
The woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was on her way back to the city from Lahore’s Ring Road at 01:30AM on Tuesday night, when her car ran out of petrol near Gujjarpura around an hour later, Geo reported.
The woman waited for her husband and phoned a relative for help, who advised her to call the Motorway Police. She subsequently called the Motorway Police’s 130 emergency helpline for assistance, but was told by the operator that she could not be provided help as the emergency beat had not been assigned to anyone.
While she was stranded on the road, two unidentified armed persons are believed to have arrived on foot from a nearby area and smashed the window of her car, forcing the woman and her children out of the vehicle. They then cut through the fence along the motorway and raped the woman in the fields nearby in the presence of her children, the FIR of the incident says.
The woman said that the men then deprived her of Rs100,000, jewelry and ATM cards before fleeing.
The woman was later shifted to a hospital. The medical examination report has been sent for forensic analysis and police have registered a case.
The Punjab chief minister has also sought a report on the incident from the new Inspector General of Police.
Meanwhile, the Motorway Police has said that the area where the incident took place is not under its control as the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway was completed recently and Motorway Police has not yet been handed over its charge.