Ending sexual abuse: NCHR chairman warns Punjab police to change attitude

ISLAMABAD: The NCHR chairman on Monday warned the provincial government that if the Punjab police maintains the same attitude then the day is not too far when there will be a drastic increase in the number of child sexual abuse cases in the province.

This was stated by Chairman National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Justice (retd) Ali Nawaz Chowhan while addressing a news conference on Monday.

He added that the Punjab government can get a DNA test done of Kasur police officials, if the residents of the area or the victim’s family ask for it, to remove the doubt the police officials were involved in Zainab’s brutal murder.

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He clarified, “I am not accusing any police official but if anyone or the victim’s family believes that any police official was involved in this shocking incident and would request for their DNA test, then it would have to be carried out.”

Chowhan was sharing the latest fact finding report compiled by the NCHR. The report was compiled after the commission’s team visited Kasur and met Zainab’s father. He added that during their visit the officials expressed serious reservations and dissatisfaction over the police performance in pursuing the case.

‘It is really shocking and disappointing to see that none of the  suggestions given by the NCHR, after the murder of 12-15 children in Kasur, were taken seriously and not even a little work had been done in this regard,” he said.

The NCHR chairman warned that if the Punjab police maintains the same attitude then day is not too far when there will be a drastic increase in the number of child sexual abuse cases in the province.

He said that in the fact finding report it has been highlighted that the police department in Kasur did not take child sexual abuse cases seriously.

He believed that the lethargy and ignorance of the police department coupled with lack of capacity in dealing which such sensitive issues is one of the major reasons behind increase in child sexual abuse cases.

“Once again crime prevention and children protection mechanism of district Kasur has failed to save the lives of innocent minors,” reads the fact finding report.

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While referring to child assault cases that happened last year, the report says that the police department has not yet been unable to find names and present a list of perpetrators.

“Mainly due to this, the level of confidence and trust in the police department amongst the victim families and majority of the population district is very low,” said the report. It also said that the police department was accused by the victim’s families of pressurising them to withdraw their cases.

Chowhan suggested that the Punjab government should replace all the police officers deputed at Kasur police stations and replace them with new police officers who have deep knowledge about human rights and its violation.

“The Punjab police should also be localised and divided into districts rather than being looked after by a single head sitting in Lahore,” he said.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1615546/1-ending-sexual-abuse-nchr-chairman-warns-punjab-police-change-attitude/