Pakistan reeled in astonishment when news hit that Zainab Ansari, who was 7-years-old at the time, was killed in Kasur (a small town in Punjab) in January 2018 while on her way to Quran tuition class. She was living with her uncle when she went missing. After her body was discovered, an autopsy report showed that she had been extensively raped and tortured before being strangled to death.
According to news reports, her uncle, Muhammad Adnan, filed a complaint with the Kasur District police office after video footage showed an “unknown bearded man in white clothes and a jacket, holding Ansari’s hand and walking on Peerowala Road in Kasur.” Locals could not digest the news. Ansari’s death brought a higher level of attention given that her family had to conduct their own investigation without any aid from authorities who took a complacent approached.
Ali was finally charged and stood trial:
After an ongoing investigation, police discovered that Imran Ali, 24-years-old, had been a serial killer and a rapist since 2015. Police would eventually focus on Ali as the prime suspect, and once there was enough evidence, Ali was charged with the crime.
Protests were held in many major cities across Pakistan, including the capital of Islamabad, as the angry mob expressed their animosity by rioting, attacking a police station, throwing rocks and burning vehicles and blocked roads. Two individuals tried to break into a police station and were killed by four policemen. For the other residents who took to the streets, they felt law enforcement’s apathetic approach was deliberate and was the reason Ansari’s family was forced to conduct their own investigation.
However, after law enforcement showed eagerness to assist Ansari’s family, after all the evidence was presented, the court found Ail guilty and sentenced him to four death sentences for kidnapping, rape, murder, and fine of 1 million Pakistani rupees, a seven-year sentence, and another fine of 1 million rupees. He was also ordered to pay the family of Ansari another 1 million rupees for slashing Ansari’s body—Ali threw her remains in a landfill.
How clues helped law enforcement pin down Ali:
The authorities conducted DNA tests on more than a thousand people who lived in the area of the crime scene. Ali’s DNA had matched not only the fingerprints and DNA found on Ansari but after Ali’s DNA was tested, it was discovered that other cases involving the rape and murders of young girls matched his.