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SAHIWAL: Police have failed to track down a gang of five allegedly involved in harassment after stopping a private college van on Lahore-Multan highway on Wednesday.

The youngsters also abused and manhandled the driver for trying to speed away.

A van was carrying 20 intermediate and graduation students back to their homes after college closing when youngsters on three motorcycles chased the vehicle from Arifwala Chowk and flagged it down near Royal Hotel interchange. They boarded the van and allegedly misbehaved with the girls and used indiscreet language. Two of them thrashed the driver, Nadeem, and snatched Rs3,000 and mobile phone from him.

The melee continued for a few minutes and the hue and cry raised by the girls attracted passersby who started gathering there. As the crowd began to swell, the youngsters made good their escape.

An eyewitness claimed that the locals identified one of the motorcyclists but there was no immediate contact with police.

The driver said these gangsters had tried to chase the van for during the last many days and they told him that they wanted to hand over gifts to students. He said the parents of the girls forbade him from sharing the matter with police.

Ghala Mandi SHO Asif Wattoo said there was no complaint about the incident.

Meanwhile, the panicked parents demand that police take prompt action against the suspects without waiting for a formal complaint. It is unlikely any parent or student will come forward to lodge complaint because of sensitivity of the matter, they say.

The college management corroborates the stance and urges police to throw the book at the wrongdoers.

Sources told Dawn that District Police Officer Dr Atif Ikram had been informed about the incident but it’s not sure whether any action was forthcoming.

Speaking on the issue, rights activist Humera Rana recalls that the incidents of ‘women stabbing’ in Chichawatni and Sahiwal in recent times went unreported but eventually police had to take action. She said eve teasing was a serious matter and law-enforcement agencies must take cognizance of it.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2017