LAHORE: Police on Monday registered a case against around 100 unidentified men for allegedly harassing women workers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) during its anti-corruption rally on The Mall a day earlier.

The victims told police that after the rally some 50 to 100 men forced their entry into the pavilion reserved for women activists and started harassing them.

Private news channels broadcast the incident live when women participants started exchanging harsh words with men for entering their pavilion. The law-enforcement agencies and rally’s administration tried to pacify the matter but to no avail.

Earlier, on April 24 in Islamabad some male participants had broken protective walls and entered the women side and harassed them. Women were also harassed last year in Multan during a PTI meeting for by-election after Javed Hashmi resigned from his seat.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan had on April 25 tendered apology over harassment of women supporters at the party’s foundation day rally in the federal capital.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on a news channel said Imran Khan might be included in the investigation against those who harassed women supporters in Sunday’s rally.

He said the management of PTI’s Sunday rally would also be quizzed.

Mr Sanaullah said over 50 alleged culprits had been identified with the help of footage acquired through various sources. “If Imran can organise rallies, he should also provide security to women,” he added.

Asked if the suspects were part of PML-N, he said, “We will surely find out to which party they belong.”

“If they belong to PML-N, we will be responsible. However, if they are PTI supporters, Imran Khan will be held answerable,” the law minister said.

Civil Lines police registered a case against 50 to 100 unidentified participants under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 294 (whoever, to the annoyance of others, does any obscene act in any public place, or sings, recites or utters any obscene songs, ballads or words) of Pakistan Penal Code against unidentified suspects.

Police also made video clips of the event to identify the suspects and arrest them.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2016

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