LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday lambasted Punjab’s police patrolling system, stating that it had “failed” to protect citizens.
These comments were made after the September 9 gang-rape which has since sparked outrage and public demand for public hanging of rapists.
LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan, during a hearing on petitions to form a judicial commission to investigate the case, asked authorities how many hours the inspector-general of police (IGP) for Punjab patrolled daily.
“Tell me how many days and when the IGP Punjab patrols (the streets),” the judge asked. “Senior police officers should be seen patrolling at night in each district from 11 pm-1 am,” he remarked.
“What has been presented in the report? What is the plan?” the judge asked in regard to a report presented by the deputy inspector-general (DIG) of police for legal affairs, Jawad Ahmad Dogar. The police officials replied that the details of the existing system have been provided. “We already have a patrolling system,” they tried to defend themselves.
At this, the judge said: “Your patrolling system has failed!”
“Punjab IGP should be on the streets himself. Does your province end after Lahore?” he asked.
“Can the government pay compensation to those killed on the road?”
“I want security for the people,” Chief Justice Khan said. “The government is bound to protect citizens under the Constitution.”
The court then ordered an implementation report to be presented by Punjab IGP Inam Ghani and Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh.
It also summoned the lawyers of both sides to present their arguments at the next hearing.