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Abid Ali (left) and Waqarul Hassan, the two main accused. Hassan surrendered to the police. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: In a major development in Thursday’s heinous incident of robbery and gang rape along the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, one of the co-accused, Waqarul Hassan, surrendered to police in Model Town area of Lahore on Sunday, after police had picked up members of his family a day earlier.

The gang rape incident has shocked the nation and Punjab police is trying to nab the main accused, Abid Ali, 27. Twenty police teams are hunting for him in various cities.

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In his initial statement, Hassan, 37, the co-accused, expressed his ignorance about the incident and denied any involvement in the crime with the main accused Abid.

A day earlier, at a media briefing, Inspector General of Punjab Police Inam Ghani announced a Rs2.5 million (Dh55,273) reward leading for information on each of the two and also released their sketches and shared copies of their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) with the media.

According to police, Hassanis a resident of Ferozwala District Sheikhupura and has a criminal record. He was released from jail only two weeks ago. “We are interrogating him and will investigate further,” a police official told Gulf News.

Ali is resident of Tehsil Haroon Abad, District Bahawalnagar and was wanted in a number of robbery and rape cases.

In the past, he faced charges of raping a woman and her daughter during a robbery but was later released after police failed to produce evidence against him.

According to police, the two were involved in gang rape of a woman who was travelling along with her three children on the Eastern Bypass of the Motorway on the night of September 9.

She was driving her car from Lahore to Gujranwala when it broke down in the middle of the road. That section of the motorway was inaugurated in March this year and was not manned by the highway or the Punjab police. Neither was there any rest stop nor service station.

She made a number of calls for help but was told by the Motorway police the section did not come under their jurisdiction.

She then made a call to her relative who asked her to contact Rescue 15 as it was 2am and her vehicle had run out of petrol.

She did so but by the time assistance reached, the two accused arrived at the spot and dragged her to the nearby jungle and gang raped her in the presence of her kids.

They also took away valuables and cash. Police are yet to record her statement as the victim’s condition is not said to be stable.