Friday Sep 11, 2020
LAHORE: The delayed response to the emergency calls made by the Motorway rape victim have exposed the level of coordination among the law enforcement agencies despite spending billions of rupees on the Safe City Project, The News reported Friday.
An initial investigation into the Gujjarpura gang rape incident and contradictory statements of senior officers confirmed that there was a lack of coordination between the Lahore Police and Motorway Police that resulted in a delayed response providing criminals enough time to flee after committing the crime.
On the second day of the incident, CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh said the victim had not called the police herself for help. Some of her relatives called the Motorway Police at 1:30am.
On the other hand, IG Motorway Kaleem Imam said that the victim called the Motorway Police at 2:01am and was informed that the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway does not fall in their jurisdiction.
However, the Motorway Police forwarded the call to the FWO immediately. The lady didn't get any help from the FWO either.
Later on, a claim of the Dolphin Force surfaced that they received 15 calls at 2:49am and reached the spot at 2:53am. A cop of Dolphin Force said as he reached the spot, the woman was “stunned”.
“She didn’t speak. She mustered up the courage after some time and then told the whole tragedy.”
However, the Gujjarpura police in its FIR stated that they reached the spot at 4am and didn’t find anyone there.
A senior police officer requesting anonymity told The News that factually the Lahore Police and the Motorway Police had delayed the response over jurisdiction.
He said the Safe City Project was launched after spending billions of rupees for a well-coordinated response and surveillance but the recent incident has exposed it as well.
He said call logs should be made part of investigations and strict action should be taken against the responsible persons.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability, Shahzad Akbar on Thursday admitted the government's "administrative failure" in the Lahore motorway rape case, vowing that culprits will be apprehended at all costs.
"There is some administrative failure [in the case] that we must admit since it took place on the link road that connects the two motorways," Akbar told a news conference, flanked by CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh.
Akbar defended the Lahore CCPO's statement which raised a lot of eyebrows after the cop blamed the rape victim for her choice of route and travelling late at night.
"I see an unneeded controversy was created out of the CCPO's earlier statement," said Akbar. "I have spoken to him about it, he will tell you himself what he meant by it."
The prime minister's aide said that it was the government's responsibility to ensure that roads, motorways, streets and highways were safe for men and women to travel.
"If a case such as this takes place, it is also the government's job to arrest the culprits and make an example out of them," he said.