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Lahore motorway rape: CCPO Umar Sheikh apologises before Senate committee

He misnamed main suspect in the case

Reporting | - Posted: Sep 28, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Sep 28, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Lahore Capital City Police Officer Umar Sheikh apologised with folded hands before the Senate's Functional Committee on Human Rights on Monday over the Lahore motorway rape case.

A woman was raped in front of her children by two unidentified men on the motorway on September 9. She was driving to Gujranwala when she ran out of fuel near Lahore’s Gujjarpura. The woman was sitting in her vehicle when two men walked towards her car, broke her window, and made her park on the roadside. They then took her and the children to a nearby forest and raped her.

Throughout the session, Sheikh repeatedly misnamed the main suspect absconding in the case. The officer kept calling the perpetrator Babar Ali, while his actual name is Abid Ali.

Lahore motorway rape updates: Main suspect's ID card blocked

During the committee meeting, the CCPO said, "It looks like the woman left the house without her husband's permission." When he said this, senators grew furious and called him out.

Sheikh has previously made victim blaming comments as well. He appeared on Dunya News after the rape was reported and commented on the survivor’s decision to take the motorway with her children at night.

“The story is that this woman, if it is in your knowledge, left Defence at 12:30am for Gujranwala,” said CCPO Sheikh while talking to the news channel. “First, I am surprised that she, a mother of three children, was the only driver.” She left Defence and should’ve taken GT Road, where there are shops and people nearby. “If you are taking the other way, then at least make sure your vehicle has fuel,” he remarked.

The CCPO also gave incorrect information regarding the case in the meeting. He said that the person who had reported the crime to the police had done it immediately when he saw the woman's car.

PPP Senator Quratulain Marri corrected him and said the man called the police around 20 minutes after seeing the woman's car.

She questioned him regarding his knowledge of the case and said he was unaware of the investigation. To this, Sheikh folded his hands and apologised.

In a recent update on the case, the main suspect, Abid Ali, is still on the run. The police have blocked his ID card and his name has been placed on the Black List. There are 28 investigation teams and 31,000 police officers looking for him.

The police have taken four people into custody in Raja Jhang who were in contact with him. They say they have received important information from one suspect, Shafqat Ali, and his wife.

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