Govt placates dejected policewoman

Updated September 09, 2019

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LAHORE: The Punjab government and police swung into action on Sunday and reportedly persuaded a policewoman not to quit her job that she announced she would in protest against injustice done to her after she was allegedly humiliated and slapped by a lawyer in Ferozewala courts last week.

Earlier in the day, Constable Faiza Nawaz in a video message said: “I am really fed up with this unjust and cruel system. I am resigning from my service, that’s all.”

Sheikhupura District Police Officer (DPO) Ghazi Salahuddin told Dawn that he had held a meeting with the constable after the video went viral on social media and claimed that she was not resigning now.

He said the constable was misquoted in the video by the interviewer and she was not dejected either. He said the constable’s morale was high after meeting him and police would take care of her.

Punjab chief minister’s spokesman Shahbaz Gill also said Faiza Nawaz was not resigning. He said the constable had released a fresh video message about her change of heart. He regretted grant of bail to the suspect by a Ferozewala judge over a minor mistake in the FIR.

Slapped and kicked by a lawyer, the constable had threatened to resign

In another video message available on YouTube on Sunday, Faiza Nawaz states: “I am lady constable Faiza and I am not hopeful of getting justice. Due to some officials of my department, the FIR was not done correctly. I am an educated lady. I hold a B.Ed degree and a master’s in political science. I was selected in the Counter Terrorism Department of police in 2014 as a constable and was later deployed in Punjab police. I proudly joined the department and wanted to serve the public and especially the women seeking justice.

“I am feeling dejected that I did not get justice, despite the fact that I was doing my duty honestly. Three days ago, I was doing my duty when a lawyer attacked, tortured and insulted me. The behaviour of the lawyers (towards police) has been insulting in the past but in this incident the lawyer crossed all limits and attacked and slapped me.”

Faiza Nawaz further said she was fed up with the system and threatened to commit suicide. “I am feeling scared. I am worried about my respect and future. The lawyers are involved in my character assassination. I cannot face this powerful mafia. Where from should I seek justice?”

The suspect, advocate Ahmed Mukhtar, slapped Faiza Nawaz in Ferozewala courts when she told him not to park his car in the no-parking area. The lawyer got angry and he abused and kicked her in her shin and slapped her. The lawyer was arrested and presented in a local court but was released on Saturday due to a minor mistake in the FIR where his name was written as Ahmed Iftikhar instead of Ahmed Mukhtar.

Shahbaz Gill said the name of the suspect was spelled correctly in three other sentences in the FIR but even then the judge granted him bail.

Earlier on Saturday, Constable Faiza Nawaz demanded President of Pakistan Arif Alvi and Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa take notice of the incident. “Is this the level of respect for women that anyone can slap her?” said asked.

She also submitted an application to the DPO to give her and family members’ security.

She stated in her complaint that she and her family members were constantly receiving threats of dire consequences from the legal fraternity and they were reluctant to stay at home.

District Bar Ferozewala president Ahmad Sultan Cheema condemned the police for producing the lawyer in the court handcuffed by the same constable, accompanied by a heavy contingent of the police.

He said the lawyer Ahmad Mukhtar was treated by the police as if he was a notorious terrorist and Indian spy. “The matter was taken up with the Pakistan Bar Council to launch a countrywide lawyers’ strike until the suspension of DPO Sheikhupura, DSP and SHO Ferozewala and Constable Faiza Anwar,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2019