CCPO Umar Sheikh of the Punjab Police on Thursday resorted to rape victim-blaming in an interview aired by Dunya News.
During the interview, Sheikh, who was recently involved in a power tussle with the Inspector-General of Punjab Police, said that he was surprised that the woman, raped by unidentified men last night, had chosen to take the route that she did on the motorway, blaming her.
This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us? pic.twitter.com/yoeZc7kBI0
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) September 10, 2020
“She left defence at 12:30 in the night to go to Gujranwala, I’m surprised that a mother of three children, a lone driver, she should have taken the more populated GT Road, and even if one has to use that road, she should have checked her petrol, anyway this was her problem, soon as she crossed the toll plaza. ”
“The CCPO should focus on his work and stop telling the victim what she should have done,” said Allaudin on twitter when he heard CCPO Umer Sheikh resort to victime blaming.
People respond to the victim blaming by CCPO Sheikh
“This is nauseating,” said Faryal Ali Shah, reacting to the CCPO’s words.
Iqrar Ul Hassan Syed is a television presenter and journalist, host of the very famous show ‘Saray Aam,’ asked on twitter, if the words of the CCPO,” mean that the woman raped in front of her children is to blame for the assault?”
Even Shireen Mazari, the Federal Minister for Human Rights, got onto twitter to lament the words of CCPO Sheikh, saying that “For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang-raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable & have taken up this issue. Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That’s it.”
PM Khan and CM Punjab take notice of the incident
The incident made national news and after more attention was diverted to it. The government has formed investigative teams to find and detain the suspects.
Umar Sheikh told that 15 suspects have been detained. The affected woman departed for Gujranwala at 12:30 AM and should have checked fuel in her car before leaving, the CCPO said.
“The woman called her brother instead of police and her brother telephoned the motorway police at 130 to send a police mobile,” he told.
CCPO further said, “There are three villages within the five-kilometre radius of the incident spot. The suspects broke the glass window of the victim’s car. Blood samples have been taken from the glass. The latest technology of rural and urban policy is being used in the investigation.”
Along with the Chief Minister of Punjab, the prime minister has also taken notice of the incident saying that, “The protection of women is the first priority and responsibility of the government,” the premier said in a statement. “Such brutality cannot be allowed in any civilised society, added, noting that such incidents were a violation of social values and a disgrace to the society.
CM Buzdar’s press conference, suspects have been identified
Abid Malhi and Waqas ul Hasan have been identified as the primary suspects of the tragic incident that took place in Gujjarpura, Thursday.
Usman Buzdar called the suspects “animals” and said that they would be soon be brought to justice. He also said that it was being made sure that such incidents don’t happen again. Rs 25000 were given to people who provide information.
IG Punjab said that CID, other various special units within Punjab police and intelligence agencies were involved in the investigation. The elaborate investigation involved DNA testing, Geo-fencing, and it was through a DNA test that the identity of the suspect was revealed. He also mentioned that CM Punjab Usman Buzdar would keep in contact with the team all throughout the investigation.
Abid Ali, a resident of Bahawalnagar, Fort Abbass has been identified as the suspect of the gruesome incident at Gujjarpura. However, the current resident of Abid and his suspected accomplice Waqas ul Hasan.
The police tracked him down, having only the DNA test match from a previous juvenile case that Abid had been involved in. The previous case in 2013 had also been about rape. The police obtained data from NADRA as well as the election commission to trace the criminal’s CNIC. By locating Abid Malhi’s SIM in usage, and through geo-fencing, the police were able to locate the current residence of both suspects, Qila Satar Shah in Sheikhupura.
According to the IG Punjab, since the news of the crime had gained notoriety and had spread, the suspect upon seeing the raid team’s car, albeit civilian, approach their house, fled. The accomplice has also been reported as having fled.
Abid Malhi and his wife left behind their daughter when they fled.
The IG also divulged that police of all involved districts were involved in an active manhunt for the criminals.
All 91 kilo-meters of the area have been taken under Punjab police custody until the motorway police can take over.
GVS News Desk