Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif suspended the whole staff of a police station besides SP and DSP, and ordered the City Police Officer (CPO) to be made an OSD over negligence that led to the alleged rape of two girls in Muzaffarabad area of Multan. The chief minister reached Multan Thursday and met with the two victims, the 12 years old ‘S’ and 17 years old ‘A’ and their family members at Violence Against Women Centre (VAWC). The CM sympathised with them and promised that no accused involved in the cases would go unpunished.
Shehbaz warned that no negligence would be tolerated during the process of providing justice to the girls. Later on, while talking to the media outside the VAWC, the CM said that the situation would not have worsened to this extent and no ‘Panchayat’ could have intervened had the police taken timely action in the July 16 rape case. Even the FIR of the first case was registered a week after the incident, the CM added. Shehbaz Sharif said that action was being taken against the negligent police officials.
He said that all the staff of police station Muzaffarabad including SHO Rashid Thaheem besides SP Cantonment Circle Mehroz Khan and DSP Saleem Niazi have been suspended, while CPO Ahsan Younis had been made an OSD. The CM said that a high-level team would investigate the matter. The team comprises Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sargodha, senior police officer Malik Abu Bakr, and members of CM Inspection Team.
The committee would submit a report within 72 hours, the CM said adding that those found responsible would face strict action. The CM declared it as the worst case of cruelty and pledged that the Punjab government would fulfil its responsibility in a befitting manner. On this occasion, officials informed the CM that 24 out of 27 members of ‘Panchayat’ had been arrested and raids were being conducted to arrest the remaining accused. Provincial Minister for Women Development Ms Hameeda Waheeduddin, DIG Punjab, and special secretary law and order also accompanied the CM on the occasion.
Meanwhile the four more prime suspects who were involved in the rape of a 17-year-old girl on the orders of Panchayat were arrested by police on Thursday, escalating number of arrested accused to 28 within two days. The suspects include the rapist Ishfaque and the one who gave the order – Haq Nawaz along with the girl’s brother Umer Wada and Saeed Numberdar.
Punjab Chief Minister took notice of the incident and ordered immediate arrest of the suspects. A suo moto notice has also been taken by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. He has summoned an instant report in this regard from Punjab IG. The incident occurred earlier this month in the neighbourhood of Raja Ram in Muzaffarabad, a suburb of the central city of Multan.
“A jirga (village council) had ordered the rape of a 17-year-old girl as punishment, as her brother had raped a 12-year-old,” said Allah Baksh, a local police official. He said the village council was approached by a man who complained that his 12-year-old sister had been raped by their cousin.
The council then ordered the complainant to rape the sister of the accused in return, Baksh said — an order which was duly carried out. The allegations were confirmed by Rashid Taheem, the police officer heading the investigation. “Both the parties had filed cases of rape against each other at the local police station after the incident that happened last week,” he said.—APP