LAHORE: The inspector general of police (IGP) has recommended Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Syeda Sheharbano Naqvi for the Quaid-i-Azam Police Medal (QPM) for rescuing a girl from a ‘violent mob’ in Ichhra Bazaar of Lahore on Sunday.

The girl was wearing a shirt with some Arabic letters printed on it, and the charged mob gheraoed her, saying that her digitally printed outfit was bearing Quran verses.

A video clip showing the timely action of the ASP and her attempt to address the crowd and later rescue the girl attracted the attention of the higher authorities, as they believed that Ms Naqvi saved the life of the girl by putting her own life at grave risk.

The terrified face of the girl, the unprecedented courage of the lady police officer, and the mindset of the angry mob chanting religious slogans remained the talk of the town all day.

IGP Dr Usman Anwar recommended to the chief minister for the prestigious award for the lady police officer who played a decisive role in this regard.

Talking to Dawn here on Monday, he said, ASP Naqvi put her life in danger to rescue a woman from a violent crowd.

“As her heroic role reflects her potential and ability to handle the mob at a time when religious sentiments were at the peak, I have recommended her for the prestigious police medal,” Dr Anwar said.

Lahore Operations SSP Ali Raza rejected the reports regarding any action against the mob which had targeted the girl, saying that the matter had been resolved when the religious scholars of various schools of thought agreed to the police inquiries that the girl’s dress had no holy verses or objectionable content.

The SSP lauded the role of the ASP and other police officers for handling the mob professionally, setting an example for others that such incidents in the future can be prevented by navigating the chaotic situation.

Ms Naqvi was also praised on the Punjab Assembly’s floor here on Monday.

Newly-elected Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz paid rich tribute to her, saying that Ms Naqvi had shown an exemplary display of bravery, wisdom, and duty by saving the life of the girl.

Addressing the occasion, the chief minister said that she had spotted some lady police officials who were carrying weapons during duty.

She hoped that every police officer will play a positive role in the safety of citizens just like Shaherbano did.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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