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Sex scandal: 5 Pak women police personnel suspended

Last Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 18:42

Lahore, May 17: Authorities in Pakistan`s Punjab
province have suspended five women police personnel and
launched a probe following allegations that they were involved
in a sex racket.

The scandal has rocked the women`s police department and
officials fear the issue will make it more difficult for
newcomers to join the force in a conservative society.

The matter came to light when Inspector Shafia Bakhat,
believed to be the head of the racket, "dispatched" two women
constables for duty at the residence of an officer of the
Lahore Development Authority.

The constables found three "customers" waiting for them
at the officer`s home, police sources told PTI. When the women
constables refused to do the bidding of the officer and his
friends, they were allowed to leave but warned that they
should not raise an alarm.

However, the women constables reported the matter to the
station house officer in Sabzazar police station and he
subsequently informed his superiors.

Lahore`s SSP (Operations) Shafiq Ahmed suspended Shafia
Bakhat and four other women police personnel for alleged
involvement in the racket. He also directed SSP (Coordination)
Imran Arshad to investigate the matter and submit his findings
at the earliest.

According to the initial findings, Inspector Bakhat was
involved in the racket for several years. A couple of years
ago, she was suspended on similar charges but was reinstated
owing to her "strong connections with police high-ups",
sources said.

"Shafia targets women police personnel from remote areas
with poor family backgrounds. She has a strong network backed
by senior police officers and journalists," a source said.

The findings of the probe indicated that she was in
league with other persons in Lahore. "Shafia`s network uses
the codeword `duty` for such assignments and the same landed
her in trouble when she wrongly sent a SMS to personnel who
were not part of her network for performing duty at the Lahore
Development Authority officer`s house," a source said.

SSP (Operations) Shafiq Ahmed said that some senior
police officers and journalists are backing Bakhat. "However
their names cannot be revealed till the completion of the
inquiry," he added.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif
has taken suo moto notice of the scandal and directed Ahmed to
appear before him on May 18.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, May 17, 2009 - 18:42

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