LAHORE, Aug 3: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday expressed serious alarm and disgust over an incident in which a policeman 'raided' a renowned art gallery in Lahore, beating the woman curator there and harassing others on the premises.

A statement said: “HRCP is appalled by the vigilante action of the Shadman station house officer who visited the Nairang Art Gallery in Lahore on Tuesday, assaulted the woman curator there, accusing her of running a place of fahashi (obscenity), and harassed others present at the gallery.”

It said the SHO's merciless beating of a woman was all the more revolting because the offender was an officer of a force tasked with protecting people against the sort of excesses he committed.

“The policeman had no warrants, nor any legal authority to barge in the art gallery like he did along with a police party, which advised the curator to leave the room after her beating rather than intervening to save her from the assault.”

It said excesses by policemen are hardly an anomaly in Pakistan but since when had policemen assumed responsibility of the Taliban?

HRCP expressed the hope the Punjab government would take notice of the incident and that a case would be promptly registered against the offender, and that he would be effectively prosecuted for his repulsive action.

Lack of due punishment for such uniformed vigilantes would only encourage others to follow suit, it apprehended.

HRCP also urged the government to make a formal apology to the curator for the actions of a government agent. — Staff Reporter

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