LAHORE: Actor and singer Mohsin Abbas Haider and his wife Fatema Sohail appeared before the superintendent of police (SP) in Cantonment on Monday and recorded their statements.
The couple visited the SP office separately along with their fellows and lawyers to defend their positions.
While submitting her written statement, Fatema asserted that her husband had subjected her to severe torture and she approached the police months after recovering from the postpartum period. She further alleged that she had given Mohsin Rs5m to run a business and he refused to return the money, as well.
Mohsin, however, rejected the allegations, saying he neither tortured his wife nor had got any money from her. He said he had no business to run as his real profession was acting and singing.
The SP later told the media that he heard both the parties and decision would be made once the inquiry was completed.
The issue of both Mohsin and Fatema got viral on social media when the latter uploaded her photos with bruises on her face and other parts of her body, alleging that her husband had subjected her to torture when she caught him cheating.
She said incident occurred at her DHA residence in Nov 2018 and she was pregnant at that time. Fatema said she had filed an application with the Defence police after Mohsin again tortured her on July 17 and refused to take responsibility for their newborn baby. Meanwhile, in a meeting with the Punjab Women Protection Authority , Fatima Sohail said she was no ready for any kind of reconciliation.
Sohail, who herself was an anchor person and had met Abbas working on the same set, said that he had been violent towards her since the beginning of their marriage, only to grow worse with time.
“It is ridiculous to say that I fell down the stairs,” she said. “Had that happened, I would have been injured all over, not just specific areas.”
She added that she would have also put her baby’s life in danger as she had been pregnant at the time.
She said she would not misuse the Holy Quran and use it for swearing, like her husband had done, and lied.
At the meeting, the chairperson of Punjab WPA Fatima Chaddar said that Ms Sohail would get all the legal protection that she needed and would receive justice.
Ms Sohail stressed that she had raised her voice for her son’s safety and future.
Her sister Ayesha Sohail, who is also an anchor person, said that at one point he had also given her death threats and demanded Rs10million. Under pressure, Fatima’s family had given him Rs5mn, of which there was no trace. “He also pointed a pistol at her during an argument when she was carrying her baby,” said Ms Ayesha.“We stand by everything said in the police report.”
Ms Chaddar said that she had spoken to police authorities, and an FIR would soon be lodged.
On Sunday Mohsin Abbas Haider had also held a press conference.
Earlier, after Fatima Sohail opened up online about her domestic abuse, other celebrities also instantly came out to defend her.
Some of them spoke of domestic violence in general terms including Mahira Khan who said that children going through such issues at home must be given special counseling at school, and Osman Khalid Butt who expressed his disgust at anyone who even ‘lifted his finger’ on a woman. Mansha Pasha said that violence could never be justified, no matter what, and silence should never be an option.
There were also those actors who had known and worked with Mohsin Abbas, including Khalid Butt, who said he had worked with him for six years straight and that he had noticed that Abbas had serious issues with his anger.
‘His attitude was not professional….I witnessed altercations between him and his family…..I saw him shouting and using abusive language on the phone,” tweeted Butt. Co workers Dua Malik and Gohar Rasheed were first to come upfront and stand by Fatima Sohail’s claims, saying that they had seen the abuse first hand.
“I stand by my verdict, I am an eyewitness,” said Dua Malik.
Rasheed said that he first knew about the violence, when a friend took Fatima to the hospital after she had been beaten up. “I don’t see him as spineless man I see him as a danger,” he tweeted.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2019