LAHORE– The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday severely ciritcised the Punjab police patrolling system, saying it had “failed” to protect citizens.
The slamming came in the light of the September 9 gang rape that sparked anger and protests as people are demanding public hanging of rapists.
During a hearing on petitions to form a judicial commission to investigate the case, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan 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 11pm-1am,” he remarked.
Deputy inspector-general (DIG) of police for legal affairs, Jawad Ahmad Dogar, also made an appearance during the hearing and presented a report to the court.
“What has been presented in the report? What is the plan?” the judge asked. To which police officials said the details of the existing system have been provided. “We already have a patrolling system,” they told the court.
At this, the judge said: “Your patrolling system has failed!”
“IGP Punjab 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 LHC’s top judge said if he was not punctual himself, he would not be in a position to question the civil judge of Taunsa. “If I don’t work in my court, I can’t assign tasks to the Taunsa civil judge,” he said.
The court then ordered an implementation report to be presented by IGP Punjab Inam Ghani and Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh, summoning the lawyers of both sides to present their arguments at the next hearing.