Rawalpindi police on Tuesday registered a first information report (FIR) against a man and his wife after a video of him beating his mother went viral on social media.
Rawalpindi CCPO Ahsan Younis took notice of the video showing Arsalan allegedly beating his mother Gulnaz Bibi and directed Rawal Division Superintendent of Police (SP) Rai Mazhar Iqbal to register a case and arrest him.
SHO Sadiqabad Tahir Ahmed Rehan, on the instructions of the SP, lodged a case under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 337 A-1, and 337 L-2 and got the medical examination of Gulnaz Bibi done. Hospital officials said the medical report would be submitted to the police within a week.
In the FIR, Gulnaz Bibi, a resident of Dhokla Ali Akbar area of Rawalpindi, alleged that her son and daughter-in-law would "fight with me every other day".
"At 7pm on [Tuesday] night, they pushed me, beat me and tortured me intensely," she said.
Bibi's husband, Ghazali Meer, told DawnNewsTV that he was not present in the house when the incident took place. He claimed that his stepson has breathing problems and his daughter informed him of the incident over the phone. He added that when he got home, he found both his wife and his stepson lying on the floor of the house.
"My stepson complained to me that Gulnaz had broken the car's mirrors and it had been badly damaged," he claimed, adding that his wife had not let him meet the police when they tried to contact him and instead "snatched his phone away and used very vulgar language with the police officials".
Meer said that Gulnaz was his second wife, adding that she has two daughters and two sons from her previous marriage. "The daughters are married while one son is in England and the other (Arsalan) lives with us". He said that he had one daughter with Gulnaz who lived with them in their house.
Meer alleged that his wife also "tortured" his stepson and daughter-in-law which is why the matter had come to this point and had also reached the police.
Early on Wednesday morning, a video emerged on social media of Arsalan's stepsister Zoobia Meer, in which she sought justice for her mother. She claimed that police had released Arsalan an hour after they submitted a complaint against him.
According to Zoobia, her brother had beaten her with a wiper as well, following which their mother used the same wiper to damage Arsalan's car and subsequently lost consciousness.
While the mother and her daughter were taken to safety by some neighbours, Arsalan with the help of his in-laws took away cash, certain documents and some jewellery, and tore apart their clothes, according to Zoobia.
She said police were not taking any action even though their medical examination report "clearly stated" that they had marks of physical abuse on their bodies.
Zoobia acknowledged that she and her mother had also hit Arsalan back, but claimed that it was only in self-defence.
SP Rawal Division earlier said that Arsalan, who owns a car showroom, and his wife had fled and raids were being carried out to arrest him.
However, it later emerged that the couple has obtained interim pre-arrest bail from a local court.
According to the court orders received by police, Arsalan and his wife are on interim bail until August 6, police spokesperson Sajjad said. He added that the couple was expected to join the investigation in the case.
Meanwhile, Arsalan's wife Bisma told DawnNews that she had been married for four years and had a 1.5-year-old daughter. "I cannot even tell you what my mother-in-law did to her son."
She claimed that her mother-in-law had been "torturing" her for four years but she had never spoken about it to save her marriage. "I had to necessarily show the other side of the picture when the case reached the media and police. My mother-in-law and her daughter even hid my daughter's milk.
"I was tortured every day but remained silent. If the son lifted a hand on his mother, then there must have been reason to do so," she claimed, adding that her sister-in-law had gone to bring the police but had not told them the "truth".
"My mother-in-law tortured [me] first, which is why the matter reached this point."
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar while taking notice of the incident directed the Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer to submit a report and directed that Arsalan be "immediately arrested".
He also directed that "justice be ensured for the mother".