Zainab case: Senseless police in misguided direction

Where do we stand in the 21st century can be well judged from the bitter fact that the police department of Punjab, considered to be taking lead over other provinces in grabbing IT-led technology and forensic expertise, seem helpless in tracing the case of kidnap cum rape cum murder of a seven-year-old girl of Kasur and 11 similar cases despite passing over a week time.

At times when fast growing economies like India, Bangladesh and Turkey are advancing capacity building of its police forces through advanced trainings in investigation and detection, the Punjab police lag behind in its hardcore function of investigation.

With highly charged media reporting and mounting pressure of judiciary and provincial executive, the entire focus of Punjab police backed by other law-enforcement agencies has been on the tracing of suspect(s) linking to the innocent girl with no breakthrough.

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The efforts to capture the suspects with the help of available CCTV footages and hundreds of DNA tests being performed on the arrested suspects too seem futile.

If we minutely analyze the major weakness in the police working we come to know only about the stagnancy in the investigation wing which has almost paralyzed.

The direct blame goes to the Punjab government and police hierarchy in the sense that both of them always put weight behind releasing funds worth billions of rupees for the operational matters of police especially law and order, but ignore the backbone of the police working –investigation and detection of cases.

Name any professional and hardworking officer in the Punjab police formations we do not find any of them utilizing their capabilities being quality investigators.

How one can expect the good performance from the police investigators who were never raised with the standards of modern day requirements.

If the suspect is the same serial rapist and killer as being reported in the media who had targeted around a dozen children in Kasur since 2015 then why the District Police Officers (DPO) and the SPs Investigation concerned exhausted the investigators of local police and Crimes Investigation Agency (CIA) police for tracing the suspect. Why were the cases having sensitivity because of child factor not taken seriously by the police officers? Why did not the senior police hierarchy like the Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer and the Additional IG Investigation Punjab intervene timely into such cases and supervised the detection process.

The Punjab police had spent millions of rupees on the recruitment and training of 500 Sub-Inspectors (SIs) a couple of years ago to get them utilized for pure investigation work. Where have they gone and got exhausted. Was Kasur police given any newly-trained SIs in district-wise division and if they were posted there how did they perform in such cases?

The reports that the district police across the province receive millions of rupees under Cost of Investigation (CoI) for tracing the heinous cases without proper utilization is an eye-opener for Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his team  who leaves no stone unturned to release funds for police in the name of security and law and order duties.

Leave aside the irresponsible or lethargic police attitude and state’s role towards tracing the serial killer of 12 innocent girls in Kasur, the responsibility also lies on the shoulders of the parents and neighbourhood to check the movements of children in vicinity.

It appears that the parents and families ignore what their kids are doing the whole day. The increasing incidents in the society and criminal patterns also depict how the media is open to anyone to get stimulation. The parents of Zainab, who went to perform Umra, should leave their children in safe hands and with proper instructions even if the killer belongs to their clan.

Police circles are taking this rape cum serial killing of female children in Kasur as unique and first of its kind in Punjab and argue it is not an easy task any where in the world to trace such cases in short time. They are of the view that the police should be given some time to trace the suspect as rising pressure by media, judiciary, and administration will not help police to do the needful.

Have we as nation developed habit of swinging into action only when electronic media creates hype of any horrific incident. This is actually hundred percent true.

We actually do not want to learn from our past mistakes and like to get such mistakes repeating.

‘God helps those who help themselves’, a famous aphorism which is the most wanted to pursue by the political regimes and the administrative machinery.

The Punjab government, who is spending billions on Punjab Safe City Project and raising law and order and terrorism forces, is also required to raise a standard investigation wing like the UK’s Scotland Yard to trace and detect high profile cases.

The government also needs to launch awareness drives through print, electronic and social media about neighbourhood watch and parental check on the movements of their children. Being citizens, the responsibility should also lies on our shoulders to control our kids from using medial tools and going outside.

 

Faisal AliZainab case
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