Punjab Police say officer attacking people in viral video receiving mental health treatment

Published August 18, 2023
A still of the policeman striking the reporter.—Twitter screengrab
A still of the policeman striking the reporter.—Twitter screengrab

The Punjab Police on Friday said that the officer who could be seen beating the public and uttering obscenities in a widely circulated video was “mentally ill” and under treatment.

Earlier today, footage emerged of a Punjab police officer atop a motorcycle slapping a reporter who attempted to question him about the vehicle’s lack of a number plate multiple times. The officer, visibly angered at being stopped on the street, hurled profanities at the reporter and other people who had gathered at the scene. He also could be seen striking another pedestrian who tried to intervene.

The officer pushed and punched the reporter and at one point also abused the Punjab police chief when the reporter mentioned the IG to the camera.

Responding to the incident in a statement today, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar said the man in question was a constable.

“He is suffering from mental illness and is being treated,” the provincial police chief said, adding that the officer had also been absent from his duties previously.

In the statement, Anwar also reassured all the Punjab police constables that none of them would be fired from their jobs after “psychosocial profiling”.

He said screening and treatment of 200,000 employees of the provincial police against 10 diseases was almost complete. However, he pointed out that police officers and personnel were unnecessarily fearful after the psychosocial profiling.

The purpose of psychosocial profiling, Anwar continued, was to provide treatment and counselling facilities to affected employees, and not to harm an employee or dismiss them from their job.

He said employees who were diagnosed with “psychological disorders” would be referred to relevant professionals and provided treatment facilities according to their needs after counselling sessions.

Anwar added that psychosocial profiling was a lengthy process that required more time to complete.

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