Islamabad police chief given 24 hours to submit report in NA over F-9 rape

Published February 7, 2023
Women take to the streets in Islamabad on Monday against the F-9 Park rape case. — Twitter
Women take to the streets in Islamabad on Monday against the F-9 Park rape case. — Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Days after a woman was raped by two armed men in F-9 Park, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani on Monday directed the police chief to take action against the culprits and submit a report in the house within 24 hours.

The deputy speaker gave the ruling when a number of lawmakers drew the attention of the house to the rape incident and called for action against police officials responsible for the security of the park.

Speaking on a point of order, Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali alluded to the incident and said there was no writ of the state. Mohsin Dawar termed the incident highly disgraceful for the state and said nothing could be more humiliating than such incidents.

The MNA demanded the presence of the interior minister in parliament to give lawmakers a briefing regarding the incident. He also sought regular updates from police regarding the investigation into the crime.

Protesters gather outside park’s Bolan Gate to express pain,anger over incident

“Who was responsible for the negligence,” MNA Dawar questioned. What would be the situation in other parts of the country if such an incident could take place inside a central park of the federal capital, the North Waziristan MNA wondered.

MNA Shahida Rehmani said that she wrote a letter to the Islamabad IG and asked for a report on the incident. She said this incident was a result of a mindset that perpetuated victim-blaming. It is the responsibility of the state to protect the women even if they go outside at 2am, MNA Rehmani added.

MNA Rohail Asghar asked who was responsible for the safety of public places and sought an update on similar incidents being probed by police.

Meanwhile, police said the investigators have shared a sketch of one of the culprits and circulated it to get help in the identification of the culprits. Police added that they were also working on geo-fencing to trace the culprits. A forensic team also visited the crime scene four days after the incident to collect evidence, they added.

Other police officers said that such incidents take place when police officials forget their prime duty of protecting the lives and property of the people and engage in other unconcerned businesses that are not mentioned in the Police Rules.

Protest outside F-9 Park

More than a hundred protesters, mostly young women, gathered outside the Bolan Gate to express solidarity with the survivor and demand accountability over an unabated rise in violence against women.

The demonstration organised by the Women Democratic Forum lasted for more than an hour and ended at dusk after the participants marched to the park and hung their dupattas (scarves) on its gate as a token of solidarity.

In her address to the protesters, rights activist Ismat Shahjahan said a peaceful future for “our children” can only be achieved through seismic social change, since a system that does not protect “women and children” should be abolished.

As she called out the apathy of the political elite, Ms Shahjahan said they wanted to ask the state who was responsible for the prevalent state of affairs, particularly the spike in violence against women and other minorities.

Demanding accountability, Ms Shahjahan questioned how come police officials and the CDA staffers failed to stop the rape on the park’s premises.

Activist Farzana Bari said the turnout at the protest was “disappointing” since this gruesome act should have shaken the nation. She added that the government needed to take measures to make public spaces safe for women and other vulnerable groups.

Ariba, one of the organisers, told Dawn that she hoped that more people would have come out to the protest, but the turnout was disappointing. “As a nation, we are dead inside,” she added.— Additional reporting by Zaki Abbas

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2023

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