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LAHORE: Police on Thursday arrested two shopkeepers a day after a video showed them torturing two women suspected to have committed theft.

The police authorities in Lahore initially remained indifferent to the incident that occurred on Wednesday, drawing flak from a cross-section of society. They acted after the footage went viral on the social media and the chief minister took notice of the “barbarian act” of the shopkeepers.

Police became complainant in the case and started raids to arrest the shopkeepers who had already gone underground. The incident took place in a cloth shop at Jallo Mor Market on GT Road where the two women were allegedly held up by the owner of the shop after accusing them of stealing merchandise.

The footage showed some men kicking and punching the women besides using a club to beat them. One of the traders was later identified as Chaudhry Ijaz, a resident of Manawan, who was holding the club and beating the women ruthlessly.

Another footage showed a man slapping a middle-aged woman, also abusing her while kicking her on chest. They locked the shop from inside and detained the women in a room where they again tortured them.

Police failed to trace the women who were set free a few hours after the incident.

Police who identified one of the arrested suspects as Kamran did not give the exact number of people booked in the case.

Operations DIG Shahzad Akbar told the media that the raiding teams had been ordered to arrest all the suspects.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018