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Motorway Rape Survivor Demands Removal Of CCPO, Unsatisfied By Apology

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The survivor of the motorway rape incident has demanded the resignation of Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh, who initially blamed the rape on the woman for travelling at night.

According to anchorperson Fareeha, the woman was not satisfied by the apology issued by the Lahore police chief, as his comments resulted in ‘extreme pain’ and ‘suffering’. “He should be removed,” the woman said, urging the government for action in the case.

The statement of the rape survivor followed an apology by the Lahore CCPO wherein he had extended an apology to the woman and her family for causing emotional pain.


Speaking to media-persons on Monday, the CCPO said that he did not mean to hurt anyone with his remarks; however, if the statement led to any misunderstanding, he apologises to the victim and all those angered by his remarks.

The Lahore High Court had also taken a strong exception to the remarks made by the CCPO, questioning what kind of probe was it that the police were blaming the victim instead of arresting the suspects. The high court had made these comments while hearing a plea about the formation of a judicial commission in the case on Monday.Sheikh, who was tasked to probe the rape of a woman on the motorway had questioned the choices of the woman, saying the woman should have taken a different route –a less deserted one– and checked her petrol tank before embarking on her journey.

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Sheikh said that he was surprised that the woman — a mother of three travelling alone at night– chose to travel via Ring Road instead of taking the GT Road that was relatively ‘safe’.

He went on to say that if she had decided to go to Gujranwala via motorway, she should have checked her fuel tank because there were no petrol pumps on that route.

After making the remarks, he reiterated the same statement in another TV show. Sheikh said that women shouldn’t go out of their houses if they are not accompanied by any male family member.

According to the CCPO, the women should go out of their house with an adult male, but there is no male in the house, they should take a kid along. “But if they don’t find anyone who could accompany them, then instead of going out at night, they should just go to sleep.

Calls for removal:

The insensitive remarks made by the Lahore police chief pertaining to the rape of a woman on the motorway prompted a strong response from social media activists, who demanded the removal of CCPO Umar Sheikh from the top post for being a ‘rape apologist’.

The statement of the police officer caused a strong reaction on Twitter, resulting in #RemoveCCPOLahore becoming one of the top trends.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Muhammad Khan also endorsed the removal of Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh after he made a controversial statement blaming the survivor of the motorway rape case for the incident.

On Friday, people from different walks of life held demonstration against the statement of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh blaming the victim. Women lawmakers from the PML-N gathered outside the CCPO office to protest the incident and seek the police officer’s removal.

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Naya Daur