IG Punjab takes notice of second female harassment incident in Lahore on Independence Day

Published August 21, 2021
Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani directed the CCPO Lahore to submit a report on the incident. — DawnNewsTV/File
Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani directed the CCPO Lahore to submit a report on the incident. — DawnNewsTV/File

Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani on Friday took notice of the harassment of a woman travelling in a rickshaw in Lahore on Independence Day and directed Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar to submit a report into the incident.

He also issued orders to identify the suspect through Safe City cameras and to arrest him, according to a tweet by the official account of Punjab Police.

Earlier today, a video of the incident was widely shared on social media, drawing outrage from citizens.

The video showed the woman travelling in the back of a Qingqi rickshaw, better known as Chingchi, which was surrounded by men on motorcycles, some of whom were catcalling her. While the woman had her face turned to the other side, a man suddenly jumped onto the Chingchi and tried to kiss the woman, who was left visibly shaken.

Second incident on Independence Day

Reports of the latest harassment incident come days after Lahore Police registered a first information report (FIR) against hundreds of men for harassing and assaulting a female TikToker and her companions in the city's Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day.

Police had moved into action on Tuesday after videos of the episode went viral and sparked an outrage on social media.

Earlier today, federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said 24 men had been taken into custody through geo-fencing and matching records from the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

The minister said "more arrests are expected today" in connection with the "condemnable" incident.

Separately, IG Ghani said senior police officers had been suspended for negligence and delayed response in dealing with the incident.

Editorial: The trauma and anger among Pakistani women after the mob assault near Minar-i-Pakistan is palpable

In the FIR, the complainant stated that she, along with six companions, were filming a video near Minar-i-Pakistan on Independence Day when around 300 to 400 people "attacked us".

She said she and her companions made a lot of effort to escape the crowd. Observing the situation, the park's security guard opened the gate to the enclosure around Minar-i-Pakistan, the FIR quoted her as saying.

"However, the crowd was huge and people were scaling the enclosure and coming towards us. People were pushing and pulling me to the extent that they tore my clothes. Several people tried to help me but the crowd was too huge and they kept throwing me in the air," she said.

The latest cases come amid renewed focus on violence against women in Pakistan, following the murders of Noor Mukadam and Quratul Ain in July.

In the same month, a video went viral on social media in which six men were seen harassing a couple in Islamabad. The men held the couple at gunpoint, forced them to strip and then beat them up. Moreover, they also abused the couple verbally and physically by doing vulgar acts.

Four of the men were later arrested.

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