LAHORE: Inspector General of Punjab Prison Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig has requested action from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against “unknown female prisoners” who voiced allegations of rape of a senior officer in his department.
Unknown female detainee, in a video clip of her recording, voiced allegations of rape against DIG prison with the involvement of other officers. He said ‘baby abortion’ would follow if there were pregnant victims.
He suspected the Lahore district prison staff had brought female prisoners to the deputy inspector general’s office (DIG) to “sexually plead him”.
He begged Prime Minister Imran Khan to pay attention to him and visit the prison. He demanded an impartial investigation into the allegations and his actions against the guilty officer.
The video clip went viral on social media, showing women with faces covered in accusations of leveling seriously against DIG in Punjabi.
IG Prison rejected the accusation, stating it was an attempt by some elements to defame the department and its officers. He said the prison department had approached the FIA to take action against the woman and the perpetrators behind the evil propaganda against her departmental officers.
He shared with Dawn a copy of the written complaint that the prison department had sent to the FIA cyber wing for action.
In the complaint, DIG Punjab Prison in Lahore DIG District Mubashar Ahmad Khan, on behalf of IG Prison, demanded a forensic audit of the video clip of the female prisoner.
The prison department expressed doubts about background noise, stating that “voice changers” might have been used in video clips to target DIG and other officials for some ulterior motives.
DIG, in his complaint to the FIA, said first of all, the district prison did not accommodate any female prisoners. Secondly, there is a 16 km distance between the DIG office in question and the district prison.
“As many as 195 closed circuit television cameras have been installed by national radio and television companies and prison departments in district prisons,” DIG said in a complaint.
These CCTV cameras function for 24/7 surveillance, record the movements of all prisoners and staff and in the presence of this gadget in a very sensitive zone, there is no need to get prisoners out of prison, he said, adding that other prisons in Lahore are also monitored below same system.
DIG said that all female detainees were detained separately in the Central Prison in a double lock system and that the place was managed by all female officials or employees.
The Punjab Prison Department has demanded action against the women or people behind the allegations.
Meanwhile, another official, who sought anonymity, told Dawn that the recent video clip might be the result of ‘politics’ in the prison department. He said there were groupings in the department, which involved many senior officers, to reach the top slots and videos might have been made in this context.
Published in Dawn, May 23, 2020
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