LAHORE: Punjab PTI leaders and workers staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club Monday against the government’s alleged failure to arrest culprits involved in the rape of a minor girl, Sumbul, and other culprits involved in violence against women.
The protesters were led by Punjab PTI president Ejaz Ch, Punjab general-secretary Dr Yasmin Rashid, secretary information Andleeb Abbas and Mehnaz Rafi. The protesters including a large number of women were carrying placards against the government and alleged that the Punjab government was answerable to rising violence against women in the province.
Ejaz Ch said due to failure of the Punjab government to arrest the rapists, the whole society was under serious threats of violence against women. He said moral values of society were deteriorating. He said the Punjab government was responsible for poor law and order, adding it should have arrested the criminals to ensure moral values and rule of law in the province.
Dr Yasmeen Rashid said it was shameful that despite lapse of 39 days the Punjab government had failed to arrest rapists of the minor girl. She alleged that scores of women and children were being sexually assaulted by rapists daily in the cities of Punjab. She said according to statistics IAF collected and presented to media ten days ago, it was revealed that incidents of gang-rape were on the rise due to slackness of the government in arresting culprits.
She said PTI had already warned the government of taking to the streets, if it failed to arrest the rapists within 10 days. Mehnaz Rafi said for eleven years she had been struggling to make the women protection bill into a law but the government had paid no attention.
She said criminals avoided punishment because of the loopholes in the law. She said PTI was the only party which had raised this issue seriously. Andleeb Abbas alleged during the last two months the highest number of incidents of violence against women had been reported from Faisalabad, the city of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, and Lahore, the city of CM Shahbaz Sharif. She said if women and children in these cities were unprotected then one could imagine what would happen to people in smaller cities and rural areas. She said the Punjab government had not called an assembly session since two months despite demands by PTI as it knew that they it has no answer to the terrible state of insecurity in the province. If the government did not improve the situation, the PTI would continue to protest.
MNA Munazza Hassan, MPA’s Nosheen Hamid Meraj, Shanila Rout, Aliya Hamza Malik, Sobia Kamal, Sadia Saif, Dr Seemi Bukhari, Neelam Ashraf, Ayesha Zaheer, Ishtiaq Malik, Naseem Akbar and other leaders and party office-bearers were present.