CHITRAL: The local lawyers and human rights activists have questioned the decision of government to set up a shelter home in Booni instead of Chitral.

They said that the shelter home should be established in the district headquarters to facilitate the needy people as Booni was situated at a distance of 81 kilometres from Chitral town.

Advocate Niaz Ahmed Niazi, the chairman of the local chapter of Human Rights Programme, said that the facility should be established in Chitral due to the rising number of the suicide of women, who ended their lives in distress because there was no place where they could find solace after developing differences with their family members.

He said that the human rights activists had been striving for establishment of shelter home in the city to bring about reduction in the number of suicide cases among women of the district.

Mr Niazi said that it was not feasible to establish the facility at a distance of 80 kilometres from the district courts. “Police will need additional resources to bring the inmates of the shelter home from Booni to the court of district and sessions judge in Chitral city,” he added.

He said that it would be a perennial issue for the management of the shelter home and police to bring the inmates to Chitral city for healthcare at district headquarters hospital. “The offices of social welfare department are also situated here that cater to the needs of the facility,” he added.

Advocate Alamzeb, the former president of district bar association, termed the decision of setting up the shelter home in Booni as illogical.

He said that Chitral city was centre of the district and it would not be possible for the distressed women of lower part of Chitral to have access to Booni town.

Mr Alamzeb said that Chitral city was connected to all the valleys of the district through public transport system and a distraught woman could easily travel to the city while in case of Booni it was not possible.

The government has allocated Rs88.520 million for construction of the shelter home building in Booni. The communication and works department called bids from the construction firms last week for the project.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2019

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