The Human Rights Cell in Sukkur has saved the lives of 18 women since it was set up in October 2011, according to the Sukkur police DIG, Dr Ameer Ahmed Shaikh.
He was speaking at a seminar on violence against women organised by the Project for the Prevention of Violence against Women at the district council hall.
He gave the example of a teenage girl who was gang raped by six people in Patni, an area near Sukkur. The police registered a case against the men but they were acquitted by court because there wasn’t enough evidence.
But the new strategy used by the cell was effective, said Shaikh. It dispatched the nearest SHO to the scene as soon as it got a complaint. The officer takes pictures and videos of the crime scene and collects evidence. After that an FIR was registered against the culprit.
He said that the NGOs were trying hard to educate the people about human rights, especially those of women but there was still a lot that needed to be done. They lacked effective coordination.
Shaikh said that if any SHO did not take action on a complaint then he would be sacked. But if their performance was good then they would also be rewarded.
The cells were firsts set up in four districts of Sukkur, Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur and Naushehro Feroz. Later they were also set up in Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Thatta, Mirpur Khas and Karachi.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2012.