A committee was formed on Monday to investigate the escape of 10 women and three children from a Darul Aman [shelter home].
The inmates managed to flee by cutting the window grilles of Darul Aman on Sunday morning. There were 17 women living in the shelter, 13 of whom escaped.
Following the incident, the administrator of the shelter run by the Social Welfare Department of Balochistan, was suspended.
“This is the second such ‘great escape’ over the past four months. Earlier, four women escaped, who were later caught by law enforcers,” said Perveen Akhtar who lives at the Darul Aman. “The reason behind such incidents is a lack of facilities,” she added. “We want to get out of here because we are provided substandard food and not provided timely medical aid,” she said.
There is one watchman at the shelter and he is said to be 65 years old.
Director Social Welfare Mohammad Ali Durani said that a high-level inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident. “All women belonged to Sindh or Punjab and every month such incidents take place here,” he said.
However, Durrani blamed the ‘system’ for the incidents.
“Most women were brought by the police [there] on the orders of local magistrates. In some cases we found the relatives of some of the women, but heavy charges for their bail forced the relatives not to return,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2011.