ISLAMABAD: Four people were arrested in connection with the sexual harassment of a boy and a girl in the capital after a video of the incident went viral on social media.
In the video, which officials said was a few months old, six people are seen sexually harassing the couple.
The suspects held the couple at gunpoint, forced them to strip and then beat them up. Moreover, the suspects also abused the couple verbally and physically by doing vulgar acts.
A case was then registered in the Golra police station under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force to woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Pakistan Penal Code.
The case was registered on behalf of the state with SI Syed Asim Ghafar being the complainant.
The police said Usman Aziz, a resident of I-8, and the co-owner of a car showroom that deals with new and used cars and real estate, along with Hafizur Rehman and Farhan Shaheen Awan were arrested and produced in court from where they were given in police custody on physical remand.
Late in the evening, the police also arrested the fourth suspect and identified him as Madaris Butt. Mobile phones were recovered from all the suspects in which scores of video clips of similar incidents were stored.
Police officers told Dawn on condition of anonymity that Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Afzal Ahmad Kausar had ordered the SSP Operations and the SP Saddar Circle to arrest the remaining two suspects as well. The officers said one of the suspects had shared the video with a friend who made it viral on social media.
After identifying Usman Mirza, police arrested him which led to the tracing of the others. The incident had occurred in an apartment in E-11/2.
The flat was in possession of a property dealer from whom the boy had taken its key, the officers said. The six suspects also had a key of the flat and they followed the couple there.
The police later traced the boy and asked him for his statement on the incident but so far he was not willing, the officers said, adding that, “the boy is so frightened that he refused to give a statement and become a complainant in the case, saying the suspects would kill him and his family”.
Police also approached the girl but she refused too, they added.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat tweeted: “He (accused) arrested. His accomplices are being arrested. Video is few months old. It is requested to plz delete any videos with victims IDs.”
In another tweet, Mr Shafqaat said: “With special efforts of SSP operation Syed Mustafa Tanweer the culprit was arrested. His accomplices are also being arrested. It is once again requested to please delete videos which show ID of victims.”
When the DIG operations and the SSP operations were contacted by Dawn, they said investigations had been launched to establish the facts.
About the safety of the girl and the boy, they said efforts and arrangements were being made to take them in protective custody as chances of suicide and honour killing cannot be ruled out.
“Our concern is also to protect the boy and the girl form all risks and danger,” they added.
A special investigating team has been constituted to probe the incident, they added.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2021