LARKANA/ Kandhkot: Senior police officials expressed concern on the weak implementation of laws in Sindh and stressed the need for capacity building of Sindh police.
They were speaking at a two-days training organized by Civil Society Support Program in collaboration with Enhanced Democratic Accountability and Civic Engagement (EDACE) for police officials on Human Rights at District Nazim Complex in Kandhkot.
The training was attended by 50 police officials that included Writing Head Constable (Head Muharrar) and Investigation Police Officers. The training was facilitated by Faizullah Korejo, SSP (Investigation) South Karachi and also Iqbal Detho, human rights activist.
Speaking at the workshop, SSP Faizullah Korejo said that interior Sindh is in the grip of domestic violence, child abuses, tribal conflicts and violations of minority rights as well. But ironically, the police stations are not equipped with different laws; that is why the implementation of these laws remains weak.
He said that Sindh Child Protection authority Act-2011 recognizes child below 18 year and police is required to protect children and work in collaboration with Child Protection units through Social Welfare Department. He said that recently enacted Child Marriage Restraint Act-2013 can be effective tool for booking offenses as now Child Marriage is cognizable offense under the law and free will under 18 years does not hold ground and further more efforts should be made in determining age at investigation level and statements of witnesses can be recorded in non-coercive manner.
Korejo said that Sindh Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act-2013 also needs to be adhered for violence (physical, mental, physiological) forms against children, women and other vulnerable groups. He apprised that Child Marriage has become cognizable offence under Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act-2013 and added that previously girls/women were wrongly implicated under PPC-365 B,366-B,371-A&B and in some cases 10-Zina Hudood ordinance etc. Korejo further stressed the police officials to investigate the cases properly rather to mention everything in the FIR to prove the cases.
Iqbal Detho said that Police as an organ of state is bound to safeguard the fundamental rights (8-28 Articles) enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. The rights acknowledged in the constitution related to police work can be categorized as a) Due process rights that protect against abuses of legal system such as arbitrary arrest, detention or imprisonment, extra-judicial killings or custodial killings b)Liberty rights that protect freedoms in areas such as belief, expression, association, assembly, movement and c)Equality rights that guarantee equal citizenship, equality before the law and non-discrimination
He stressed the need for more dissemination and practical application of special laws related to vulnerable segments of society such as minorities, women and children need to be mainstreamed at Police Stations particularly with Head Muharrar (WHC) who writes the FIR and invokes the sections of various laws.
Detho added that In line with supreme court verdict of June 2014 regarding minority rights, Police is bound to protect place of worship and provide security around their religious festivities and sensitized to their religious diversity. He pointed out that due to unavailability of prisons for children, the children are kept with elder prisoners thus they are sexually assaulted.
Afzal Shaikh of CSSP spoke on the objectives of the program. He said the workshop aimed to enhance the capacity of police officials on human rights and also to make them aware about different special laws on children and women. He said that CSSP has been endeavoring to organize capacity building programs in Larkana division.
Kashif Siddique and Sadia Khokhar also spoke.