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Thursday April 18, 2024

F-9 Park gang-rape exposes police performance

By Shakeel Anjum
February 12, 2023

Islamabad : The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police would be feeling embarrassed and guilty over what had happened in Asia’s one of the largest urban parks, the F-9, or Fatima Jinnah Park last week.

It’s a painful issue to discuss or thrash threadbare but the way a young lady was gang raped in the park in the heart of the federal capital and then the rapists got away and still at large, has raised many questions about the performance and efficiency of Islamabad Police.

The much-trumpeted claims of a ‘Safe City’, by ICT Police, which has installed innumerable monitoring cameras in addition to the foot and mechanized patrolling teams have simply blown like a bubble by this one incident.

“The police have set up over 100 cameras at different sensitive points of the metropolis but no CCTV cameras have been installed inside the Fatima Jinnah Park to monitor criminal activities at walking tracks and other points inside the park, however, set up on the 4 main gates but not strong enough to recognize the faces,” the sources dealing with then gang-rape incident, disclosed. However, the police have found a “minor but unclear” clue about the alleged rapists but not cleared as much as necessary to trace and round them up. As the dust has already started settling down on the case and it is gradually slipping out of the news, even from social media, one is still waiting for some progress made by the investigators of the horrifying crime.

“A serious note of the incident has been taken at the highest level and Islamabad Police will soon reach the perpetrators of the monstrous crime and justice will be administered,” has become an oratorical statement on the occurrence of the big crimes. However, what happened in Fatima Jinnah Park is something that people are finding hard to scrap from their minds.

The cruelest and sadistic argument one comes across is: “The girl should have been more careful. Why they were present in that deserted area of the huge park after sunset? It is as much of their own fault to fall, victim.” So, why not the ICT Police may announce that going to parks or other recreation spots is prohibited, especially for females, after sunset because the police could not be held responsible for any such incident?

The police even after 75 years of independence have still to learn that they wear this uniform to protect people and not to infuse fear in their hearts and minds. But unfortunately, it seems that the whole institution of police, especially in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh are not public servants but slaves of the political elite, even more, enslaved by political parties only.

One understands that it would be a foolish thing to ask the investigators of crime to share their findings in the case prematurely but it would not be out of place to demand from the command as to what measures he has ordered for prevention of such incidents in future. Deployment of gun-toting policemen in every nook and corner of these parks and recreation places would not be such a good idea but raising the level of distance monitoring should be an option the command may be pondering upon.

The Islamabad Police are working hard on raising especially trained anti-riot contingents equipped with more ‘fire power’ and even acquiring drones equipped to fire teargas shells in such a critical political turmoil, but would it not be a good idea to raise an even stronger contingent of protectors who should be caring and kind towards the citizens.