- And the sordid reality on ground
Twelve cases of child abuse in Kasur followed by the murder of the victims within a year are indicative of two things: a total lack of responsiveness on the part of the Punjab government and a deficit of proficiency in police and civilian agencies dealing with crime.
The highly publicised safe city project, Anti-Riot Police Force, Elite Force, Dolphin Force and CCTV cameras were aimed at creating an illusion of security among the citizens. Whenever put to test these have miserably failed to perform the functions that they were avowedly meant for. One is forced to conclude that the fancy paraphernalia with high visibility is in fact meant to deceive the voters rather than control crime.
Three years back the country was horrified by media reports regarding the incidents of child abuse in Kasur by an organised gang which had sexually exploited and filmed 280-300 children. Despite widespread public protests the government remained in a continuous state of denial. A court finally sentenced two of the accused. A year later keeping the Kasur incidents in view Parliament passed the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2016, criminalising child trafficking and pornography and citing punishment for sexual abuse of children.
Eight year old Zainab’s rape and murder has again generated a countywide wave of anger leading to protests not only in Kasur but also in several other cities of the country. Supposedly a single criminal whose CCTV picture is available was behind all these crimes. Such is the lack of proficiency in Punjab police and intelligence network that the criminal managed to commit all these offences without being caught. As protests continued on Thursday also the trigger happy police killed two protesters in Kasur. The incident once again exposes the apathy of the government and lack of discipline in police force.
This being the election year, the opposition is using the incident to expose the government. The ruling party has to blame itself for its failure to own its mistakes and improve its governance.