DERA GHAZI KHAN: The Social Welfare Department Deputy Director Zakauddin Buzdar suspended the local Darul Aman’s lady warden Shehnaz and security guard Abdur Rasheed for allowing a teenage girl to go missing from the shelter.
A video later emerged which showed the teenager being subjected to to violence on Jam Pur Road in Dear Ghazi Khan.
He has written to the district police officer to take action against personnel deployed for security at Darul Aman.
Two suspects, identified as Kamran and Ashraf, were allegedly involved in the reported kidnapping of the girl. They were arrested and are being held at the City Kohropaka police station, while a third suspect is still at large.
On Saturday, the deputy commissioner expressed his dissatisfaction over the inquiry report presented to him. The Social Welfare Department’s director general has been asked to take action against the investigation team for not looking into the case properly.
On August 15, at a police picket, the girl was asked for some legal documents which she didn’t possess. Later, she was arrested and was sent to Model Town B police station. The same day, the police presented her before the area magistrate after which the court sent her to Darul Aman.
However, when she went missing from Darul Aman on Thursday morning, the staff from Thana Gadai’s area Khayaban-e-Sarwar dragged her back to the shelter.
After she reached Dear Ghazi Khan, her family kept searching for her in Balochistan. Police said a man nominated in the case of kidnapping the girl was also arrested in Kohlu three days ago.
After receiving the information of girl being in Darul Aman, the family reached there and submitted a plea or her custody. On August 16, the court summoned the girl along with the Darul Aman in charge.
However, the teenager went missing from the shelter home and staff, along with the help of police, went on a search operation.
Staff members caught up to her near Dasti Pull, opposite Khayaban-e-Sarwar, and subjected her to violence.
Since there was no policewoman with the search team, the girl started screaming and did not want to go with the officials at any cost. Police said she also leveled allegations against Darul Aman staff, claiming she was raped at the facility.
Later, Deputy Commissioner Ali Akbar Bhatti took immediate notice of the incident and appointed Additional Deputy Commissioner Mian Iqbal Mazhar and the assistant commissioner as investigation officers. He instructed them to submit a report on an immediate basis.
The team reached Darul Aman and recorded statements of staff members concerned and interrogated them over charges of negligence. The related report was presented to the deputy commissioner on Friday.
On Saturday, Deputy Commissioner Ali Akbar Bhatti expressed his dissatisfaction over the report presented to him and ordered an inquiry from scratch. He also issued orders for the assessment of the people responsible.
The deputy commissioner had a telephonic conversation with the director general of the Social Welfare Department and asked it to hold a departmental inquiry over the matter.
Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court Multan Bar Women Rights Committee Coordinator Advocate Sundus Rahim demanded that an inquiry team check CCTV footage to identify negligence on the part of staff members.
It also wanted to establish whether the teenager was taken elsewhere from Darul Aman. She also demanded videos the carrying statements of the girl be included in the record. Rahim asked that the failure to conduct a medical examination should also be probed. The girl’s statements also have been recorded at the Kohropaka court in Kohlu, Balochistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2018.