Punjab forms committee to probe PTI allegations of women prisoners' mistreatment

Azam Malik
May 29, 2023

Two-member committee comprises DC Lahore Rafia Haider and SSP Investigation Anoosh Masood

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Policewomen detain a PTI party activist and supporter of former prime minister Imran Khan during a protest against the arrest of their leader, in Karachi on May 10, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi Monday formed a two-member committee to investigate allegations levelled by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of mistreatment of its female supporters in prisons who were arrested after the May 9 vandalism.

PTI Chairman Imran Khanhad claimed that the party supporters were being "molested and harassed" and urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to intervene ad take notice of the matter.

Thousands of PTI workers who have been arrested in connection with the May 9 violence also include women, while CM Naqvi had initially claimed that women have been dealt with in line with the law he has now formed a committee to probe the issue.

According to details available with Geo News, the two-member committee — comprising Deputy Commissioner (DC) Lahore Rafia Haider and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigation Anoosh Masood — will visit the Kot Lakhpat jail and will speak to the prisoners.

Earlier, CM Naqvi had said the PTI was resorting to propaganda regarding women being mistreated in prisons.

He had revealed that 32 women were arrested and only 11 of them are still in jail now. The chief minister added that it is his government's duty to ensure that "mothers and sisters remain safe".

Moreover, speaking toGeo News SSP Masood rejected all claims regarding the “inappropriate treatment” of female prisoners.

She reiterated that a team comprising of female police officers goes for the arrests of women suspects/accused who are then kept under custody in a women's police station where all the staff members are females.

The SSP further added that no male staff member is allowed to go there where women prisoners are kept.

A day earlier, PTI chief Khan shared a montage on his Twitter handle showing how female workers were treated during the protests held across the country on May 9 after his arrest from the premises of the Islamabad High Court.

"Never have women been humiliated for using their constitutional right to protest peacefully in any democracy let alone in one that is Muslim," the former prime minister wrote.

He claimed that this was a planned campaign to depoliticise women in the country.

"The clampdown and terror campaign against women is being done so that their men would discourage their political participation.

"And now there are increasing reports coming that some of the women are being molested and harassed in jail," he wrote.

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