The Punjab Police posted a tweet about the criminal law on suicide and people are not happy.
TRIGGER WARNING: mention of suicide law.
Last evening, the Punjab Police posted a tweet about the law on suicide as a reminder, and it came off as pretty insensitive.
The criminal law in section 325 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 is directed at those that commit the act of suicide – and fail.
— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) May 21, 2021
According to the law “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offense, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.”
That essentially means if you fail to…end your life, the police can fine you, or jail you, or do both.
The law is not new, but it seems like it is being reinforced.
The law seems to be in place since the British colonial era, although there have been unsuccessful attempts to remove it. However, this time around, the backlash is loud and people are not here for it.
Many pointed out how this was insensitive and unnecessary on the part of the Punjab Police, presenting counter-arguments.
In 2017, a bill was moved by senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja to decriminalise suicide but our politicians are more concerned with degrading each other on the floor of national assembly than working for the welfare of the people, hence it was never passed. A moment of shame. https://t.co/p0hGJmkjfF
— Arsalan (@lapulgaprop) May 22, 2021
This is so insanely dumb and insensitive. Do you think the fear of jail time will prevent them from killing themselves? NO, now they'll make sure they really die.
Provide therapy to them. Get them help they need instead of coming up with this fuckery. https://t.co/ZSELNB9vZi
— Hunza Malghani (@__feministt) May 22, 2021
نہ چین سے جینے دے گی نہ چین سے مرنے دے گی
پنجاب پولیس 😁 https://t.co/uIMveT0nco
— Husn.E.Qudrat👩⚕️ (@HusnHere) May 22, 2021
People started coming up with alternate (and better) solutions for Punjab Police.
What a big brain moment. How about a year in rehabilitation instead of jail? https://t.co/eKo8ajOttM
— Momina Maham (@mominamaham01) May 22, 2021
Or we can provide free therapy? https://t.co/Re6Ol4vfCy
— (G)areeb 🤷🏻♀️ (@aaloo_chippas) May 22, 2021
Therapy and rehab – both GREAT options.
Some people resorted to dark humor – which, again, it’s a sensitive issue. Best not to make jokes.
As grave as the issue and as sensitive a topic it is, you cannot ignore the atrocity and almost nearly laughable take on this issue that Punjab Police has taken.
اور اگر کوئی نا بچ سکے تو پھر اس کامیاب کوشش پر کتنی سزا ہے؟ https://t.co/DqCF0u5gz0
— Ahsan Tanoli (@AhsanTanoli) May 22, 2021
یعنی خودکشی کرنے والا پہلے کی نسبت چار پانچ گولیاں زیادہ کھاے کیونکہ اگر وہ بچہ گیا تو پنجاب پولیس کے ہاتھوں نہیں بچے گا
آسان الفاظ میں یہ بیان کرنا چاہ رہے ہیں آپ
— Mian Asad Qadri (@AsadQadri7) May 21, 2021
The meme brigade did not forgive the Punjab Police account for advertising this in the manner that they did.
— h (@haisomedurrani) May 22, 2021
— Haider 🍁 (@hodornm) May 21, 2021
Even law enforcement officials took to pointing out the absurdity of the situation.
An attempt to commit suicide is a crime u/s 325 of Pakistan penal code, surprisingly, instead of providing counseling and psychological help to the victims of mental health issues and as a result of that a suicidal attempt, our law wants them to be punished for it. https://t.co/6djPa54mem
— Farhan Khan (@Godmade__) May 22, 2021
As the uproar on social media grows and more and more people call the government for change and better laws, it helps to remember that Pakistan is one of the few countries that signed WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, though one asks what steps have been taken to implement this plan?
What do you think about the whole thing? Let us know in the comments.
For anyone struggling with their mental health:
042-35761999 is the number for the National Suicide and Crisis helpline.
+923117786264 is the number for the Umang suicide helpline.
Cover image via twitter.com/OfiicialDPRPP and www.satp.org