Punjab suspends cops for neglecting to respond to woman's assault at Minar-e-Pakistan

Those involved in public assault of victim will be severely punished, says Punjab CM Usman Buzdar

Ahmed Faraz
Ummay Farwa
Zeeshan Baksh

  • Punjab CM orders suspension of police officials over negligence of duty during public assault of a woman at Minar-e-Pakistan on Independence Day.
  • Punjab to write to federal government for suspension of DIG, SSP Operations. 
  • The area's DSP and SHO will also be suspended, say sources.

LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to reprimand five police officials for failing to respond in time to the public assault of a woman at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan on Independence Day. 

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting Friday to review the progress made in the investigation so far. Punjab IG Inam Ghani presented a report, in which the role of police officials was also discussed.

The CM instructed the IG to suspend the concerned police officers. Lahore DIG Operations Sajid Kayani, SSP Operations Syed Nadeem Abbas and Additional SP Operations Hassan Jahangir were removed from their posts, while DSP Badami Bagh Usman Haider and SHO Lorry Adda Mohammad Jamil were suspended.

The provincial government also suspended the projector director and deputy director of the Greater Iqbal Park.

CM Buzdar said the culprits will be handed severe punishments and the victim will be provided justice.

He said that police response was delayed. "The people have high expectations from the police and the police have to carry out their duties according to the aspirations of the people," he said.

Buzdar expressed grave concern over the public assault of the woman and some other recent incidents in Lahore. "Angry" over police performance, the chief minister said the police’s response to the woman's assault and other incidents has been slow.

The Minar-e-Pakistan assault came to light after a video went viral on social media, showing hundreds of men attacking a woman as she went to the park with four of her friends to celebrate Independence Day. The police had registered a case against 400 men for assaulting the woman.

NADRA report awaited

The Punjab police have taken 20 people into custody on suspicion of assaulting and groping the female Tiktoker. The suspects have been handed over to the CIA for further interrogation.

They were detained from the nearby areas of the Greater Iqbal Park.

The authorities have shared the suspects' details with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and are waiting for an identification report to proceed further.

The suspects were taken into custody after police obtained videos that went viral on social media of the horrific assault of the woman, who was making videos for her TikTok account at the national monument, on the occasion of Independence Day.

After NADRA sends its report, police will seek the victim's help to identify the suspects.

Medical examination

The Punjab government released Friday the medical examination report of the victim, which confirmed details of the injuries she sustained after being assaulted.

Signs of inflammation were found on the woman's body, the report said, adding that her neck, right hand and ears were swollen.

There are three scratches on the right side of her chest and scratches on her left arm, back and both legs.

There are also several bruises on her body, the report said.

Woman says men groped, beat her and tossed her into the air

The episode triggered anger and widespread criticism of the prevalent misogyny in Pakistan after the video clip, showing hordes of men of all ages climbing a fence and attacking the woman, went viral on social media.

The victim told police that men groped her, tore off her clothes, beat her, and tossed her in the air. In addition, they robbed her of Rs15,000, snatched her mobile phone, and took off her gold ring and studs.

Out of hundreds of men, many of who just stood there and even made a video, only one person came to the woman's rescue and helped her get out of the park.

A case was filed against 400 people on the victim's complaint.