Special police reporting desk set up for transgender people

Published May 16, 2020
This reporting desk on the premises of the women police station will cater to transgender persons.
This reporting desk on the premises of the women police station will cater to transgender persons.

RAWALPINDI: For the first time in Punjab, the Rawalpindi police have established a special reporting desk on the premises of the women police station with a transgender woman as a facilitator and victim support officer to facilitate the transgender people.

Reem Shareef, who holds a master degree in International Relations, will play as a bridge between the transgender people and police.

A male and a female police officer will also work with her at the “Tahaffuz” reporting centre. City Police Officer (CPO) Mohammad Ahsan Younas told Dawn that “Tahaffuz” reporting and khidmat markaz is the first of its kind for transgender people in Punjab.

He said there will be a counseling room for transgender people. Whoever faces any problem in the Rawalpindi district, they will be facilitated at the reporting desk.

Staff led by a transgender person deputed at the desk on premises of women police station, says CPO

Shareef had been a student of engineering but due to gender discrimination she could not pursue the engineering education and decided to go for a master degree in International Relations.

“Yes, she can speak and write well and will be the best choice to communicate between her community and the police,” the CPO said, adding though she will not be a police employee she will help her community fight for equal treatment in society.

Transgender people face pervasive discrimination in many fields of life, including schools and housing besides mistreatment at work and public places.

Women police units

The CPO also established women police units in 12 police stations and posted women additional station house officers (SHOs) aimed to resolve women-related issues.

The police personnel posted at the women police units will be provided a separate office and residence.

Initially, Sub-Inspector (SI) Sanam Sahi has been posted as the additional SHO in Banni police station, SI Syed Maria Batool in New Town police station, SI Sehr Batool at RA Bazaar, SI Farsid Naz at Saddar Baruni police station, SI Mehmoona Akhtar at Kahuta police station, SI Amina Shoaib at Cantt police station, SI Shabana Batool at Murree police station, SI Madiha Gul at Airport police station, SI Hajira Awan at Saddar Wah, SI Shahida Yasmeen at Taxila police station, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Rahila Kausar at Waris Khan and ASI Shama Naz at Civil Lines police station.

The CPO said establishment of the women police units was aimed at improving the quality of investigation and resolve grievances related to women.

It may be recalled that Pakistan’s first woman police station had been established in Rawalpindi in January 1994 which was inaugurated by the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto. It was staffed entirely by women to facilitate women victims of crimes.

But hardly the police station could handle women cases since it was established.

Later, almost every police chief tried to establish front desks, Darul Aman, free registration of FIRs, reporting rooms instead of improving working of the existing women and other police stations.

A legal expert said the establishment of “Tahaffuz” and a separate desk for transgender people was of no need. Instead the police should provide justice and facilitate every citizen equally at the existing police stations.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2020

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