ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Interior Monday sought from the federal and Punjab authorities to explain under what circumstances and reasons did Lahore Capital City Police (CCPO) Umer Sheikh had given an “irresponsible” statement about motorway gang rape survivor. 

Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik through a letter has sought a report questioning whether Lahore CCPO asked for the permission from his superiors before issuing his public statement?  He said that Secretary Interior Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Inam Ghani and CCPO would be summoned in the committee for an explanation after the committee would analyze the report.  The committee has sought answers of as many questions about motorway gang rape incident from secretary interior, police chiefs of Punjab and National Highways and Motorways Police, secretary communications, and chief secretary Punjab. 

In the letter written to the Secretary Interior whose copy has been forwarded to all concerned, Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik has sought reply of all the questions within three days.  The chairman in the letter has also given some recommendations to the federal and provincial authorities to bring to book the culprits and for future measures to provide protection to travelers on main highways countrywide. 

The committee has recommended that the police need reforms for social justice with the observation that the statement of (CCPO) was highly “irresponsible and unprofessional.” It said that the committee would suggest the changes under the law to ensure the security of people and to stop such incidents in future.  Last week, two dacoits had gang-raped a woman in front of her children along Lahore-Sialkot Motorway after her car ran short of fuel during late night. 

Earlier, the committee had taken suo motu notice on the matter after Senator Kalsoom Perveen raised the issue with the chairman. 

“The state has to give a sense of safety by providing protection to the public rights at public places and security during travelling movements of an individual from one city to other city should not be at the personal whim of an individual police officer,” the letter said. 

The new IGP has taken over the charge a day before the incident took place and the committee expects that arrest of criminals should be ensured through investigations, it added. 

The committee asked that the Inspector General (IG) of Motorways Police should inform the steps taken for the safety of the travellers on the motorways. 

The Secretary Communications and Chairman National Highways Authority (NHA) should inform the reasons of the failure of the deployment of the relevant staff at Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, the letter also sought? 

Through the questionnaire, the chairman committee sought that what was the exact time of the horrible incident along with the time of entry of car of the lady from toll plaza and exact location of the unfortunate incident on the motorway? 

“When was this motorway (Lahore-Sialkot) got completed and opened for public? Who is responsible for opening of the motorway without deployment of motorway police, security and other facilities?” the committee has sought. It has further said that who was responsible for the maintenance of the side fence of the motorway? 

The committee questioned that how many telephone calls have been traced and investigated around the area before and after three hours of the incident? 

The letter sought that the toll plaza needed to be checked as to how may cars entered from the same entrance within 10 minutes after passing of the car? The letter advised that the possibility of chasing of the lady by the rapists must not be ignored as they found the lady alone in the car at night time. 

It said that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) should assist the Punjab Police and not only analyze the finger prints taken from the science and but also of the people living within three-kilometer radius of the crime scene. 

The committee said that it might be determined if the car had any technical fault in addition to the petrol shortage.