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September 17, 2020

Senate panel irked at absence of Lahore CCPO

Top Story

September 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday dismayed over the absence of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umer Sheikh, who caused criticism over his remarks shifting the blame of the motorway gang-rape to the victim.

The Senate human rights committee had directed the CCPO to appear at its meeting Wednesday in person, but Sheikh failed to do so without notifying any reason. Committee chairman Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that the police officer's absence was unacceptable.

The committee decided to submit a privilege motion against the Lahore CCPO and issued summons to ensure the officer's presence at its next hearing. On Monday, CCPO Sheikh had publicly apologised to the motorway gang-rape victim for his earlier remarks implying that she shared responsibility for her rape.

Following the rape, the CCPO had invited criticism when he pontificated that the victim had failed to take due precautions before setting off for her journey.

According to the Lahore police chief’s logic, the woman could have avoided being at the wrong place at the wrong time. He said she should have taken the more populated GT Road to Gujranwala instead of going via motorway, and that she ought to have checked how much fuel her car had before setting off.

The CCPO's comments had triggered a strong reaction from civil society and human rights activists, who condemned the statement and called for his removal from office. He was subsequently issued a show-cause notice over his remarks by the Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani.