Rising harassment cases haunt Lahore

Despite establishment of anti-violence cell, crimes against women continue


Muhammad Shahzad September 20, 2021
PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:

Despite the establishment of anti-violence cell to protect women in Defence B police station’s area, incidents of sexual harassment were reported in the provincial capital during the past week.

In the past week, Lahore Police inaugurated the cell while Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rao Sardar Ali Khan held a meeting with women’s rights activists to discuss the ongoing situation of crimes against women.

The metropolis, nevertheless, continued to be haunted by rising sexual crimes.

On September 19, two persons were arrested for sexually harassing a woman on phone. The suspects identified as Atif and Tayyab lured a woman to share her number while playing a game online. The suspects had enticed her to share a game trick on phone.

Read ‘Harassment against women a challenge for police’

Later, they started sexually harassing her. She lodged a complaint before police. Sattokalta police arrested the suspects and registered a case against them.

On September 18, a suspect was arrested for sexually harassing a woman in Gulshan-e-Ravi. The victim was a schoolteacher. She was returning home when the suspect followed her on motorcycle. As she entered her street and was about to enter her house, the suspect lowered his trousers to sexually harass her.

Another incident of harassment of a working woman was reported in Iqbal Town on September 16. The victim worked on a shopping centre. The suspect somehow got her phone number and had been sexually harassing her. On the day of the incident, he followed her from her workplace and in Moon Market, Iqbal Town harassed her.

On the same day, a suspect identified as Chand Maseeh was arrested from Gujjarpura. He would harass women in public places through indecent exposure.

Due to the ongoing situation, the IGP held a meeting with gender rights activists to devise a mechanism to address the issues facing women and vulnerable communities. The IG stated that prevention of crimes against women and children was the top priority of Punjab Police. Effective use of modern technology and all possible steps were being taken in this regard, he claimed.

He added, “Women can get police help in case of any emergency with just one click through the Woman Safety App across the province. The anti-harassment and anti-violence cells had also been set up in all the districts of the province to facilitate the victims. These cells are ensuring speedy investigations of cases in such crimes.”

Read more Anti-harassment, violence cell set up

The IGP revealed that a database of habitual offenders in crimes against women and children was being prepared so that criminals involved in such cases be closely monitored. “Refresher courses and modern training workshops are being conducted to enhance the capacity of gender crime investigation officers. Mutual cooperation of Punjab Police, NGOs and civil society is the need of the hour to prevent gender crimes.”

On September 14, a woman reportedly was sexually assaulted by three suspects in Satto Katla. The victim had befriended the prime suspect on phone and had come to see his friend from Okara. The suspect reportedly took her to a hotel where he along with two of his accomplices subjected her to sexual assault after intoxication.

This was the same day the province’s first anti-harassment centre was inaugurated at Defence B police station by Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar.

On September 13, Lahore police organized a women’s rights seminar that was attended by the Lahore police chief.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2021.

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