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Punjab IG Denounces Lahore CCPO’s Remarks Blaming Survivor Of Motorway Rape

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Punjab Inspector General (IG) Inam Ghani has also criticised Lahore CCPO Umar Shaikh for blaming the motorway rape incident on the woman, saying the ‘guard cannot tell the owner of the house to protect their belongings themselves’.

The IG said the remarks made by the Lahore police chief were not at all defendable as there was no way that the ‘victim could be held responsible for such horrific incident’.

A day earlier, Law Minister Raja Basharat had also termed the CCPO’s statement ‘inappropriate’ and maintained that he does not approve or agree with whatever the CCPO had earlier said.

Controversy stirred by CCPO:

On Thursday, Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh questioned the choices of the rape survivor, saying the woman should have taken a different route –a less deserted one– and checked her petrol tank before embarking on her journey.

Sheikh had 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.

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’.

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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 a 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.

Rape on motorway:

A woman was allegedly raped by two men agunpoint in front of her children after her car ran out of gas near Gujjarpura, Lahore.

Police said the woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was returning to the city from Lahore on Tuesday night when her car ran out of petrol.

Geo News reported that the woman called her husband, who advised her to call Motorway Police for help until he got there. However, the Motorway Police operator excused from helping the woman, saying the emergency beat had not been assigned to anyone.

As she was left to her own devices on the deserted road, two armed men approached the vehicle and smashed its windows. They then took the woman and her children out of the car and took them into a nearby field after cutting the fence along the road to rape her. The report said the woman was also deprived of Rs100,000, jewelry, and ATM cards.

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