MULTAN-An unscheduled mock terror exercise here in District Police Lines terrified parents, citizens and residents of the areas along Kutchehri Road on Monday. Heavy police contingents in anti-terrorist gear blocked the road from three spots while ambulances, police vans and bomb disposal squad engines rushed to the Police Lines while blowing sirens. Parents of children from different schools including Nishtar, Science, Zenabia, Naeem Grammas and LCS located on the road rushed to the schools in panic to pick their children after learning about police movement. However, the cops did not let the parents and citizens cross through the barricades mounted by them.

Scenes of citizens quarrelling with policemen were seen at different spots.

The parents strongly protested against police behaviour. "This time police spread terror. We were left helpless and stranded. Police did not tell us anything and even refused to let us pick our children from schools," said a horrified father Azeem Khan while talking to the media.

The owners of the schools also lamented that they had not received any intimation regarding mock exercise. "No one informed us about the drill. We were terrified," said a school owner while requesting anonymity.

Severe traffic jam took place on Kutchehri Road and adjoining areas due to the mock exercise. The traffic chaos lasted for about two hours. The police sources said that the exercise was meant to test the preparedness of anti-terror police and all other concerned departments.

FIRST VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN CENTRE

The first of its kind Violence Against Women Centre in entire South Asia will become functional in Multan by the end of next month (March), declared Waheed Akhtar Rana, Director General, Social Welfare Punjab.

Inspecting the under construction centre here in Matti Tal area on Monday, he said that the centre would address all issues, problems and grievances of women under one roof. "It will offer quick solutions, protection and justice to the women victims of violence or trauma under one roof," he added. He said that entire staff including investigative officers of the centre would be women and the victims would be offered medical and residential facilities after registration of their complaints.

He said that the centre was first of its kind in entire South Asia which would set an example for other countries to follow. He said that the Punjab Government was committed to offer full protection to the women from all kinds of aggressions. "The government has taken this revolutionary step to stop violence against women keeping in view the growing numbers of sexual and other abuses," he added. He said that the centre would give women courage to raise voice for their right and get justice against aggression.