The tendency to violate law by those employed to enforce it is on the rise. This is one of the factors that has led to a complete breakdown of law and order in our blighted land. The latest such case occurred at Fort Monroe in the Dera Ghazi Khan district where five girls, visiting the area situated in the Suleiman Mountains Range from Lahore and Bahawalpur, were taken to the local police station and allegedly raped by five members of the Border Military Police (BMP). Three of the men, who were held at Fort Monroe police station escaped supported by hundreds of tribesmen once the incident came to light. Fortunately, they have now turned themselves in while two other BMP personnel remain on the run. The case has been brought against them. One of the accused claims that the women were ‘call girls’. This stands neither here nor there. There can be no excuse for such behaviour on the part of those meant to ensure that citizens are protected. We have seen security personnel use their power and influence in a similar,unlawful manner before. It is time that this tendency is brought to an end.
How is this to happen? It will be possible only if a thorough and impartial investigation of the incident takes place and if found guilty, exemplary punishment is meted out to the BMP personnel involved. It must be ensured that they are tried under relevant laws and dealt with in a similar manner that ordinary citizens. There is no doubt that what happened at Fort Monroe police station is unforgivable.
Regardless of who these women were, it was the duty of the security forces to ensure that they were kept safe. This did not happen. The fact that security personnel feel that they are immune from the law is one reason why such incidents occur. There must be an active attempt to alter the attitude of all men in uniform and it must be made clear to them that they have even greater responsibility than others to uphold the law and ensure it is not violated. Unless this change in attitude does not take place, we will continue to see such abuse of power at the hand of the law enforcers.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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