Friday Aug 20 2021
Web Desk

Security not beefed up on Aug 14 at Minar-e-Pakistan despite two untoward incidents a day earlier

Web Desk
Woman being groped by several men at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on August 14, 2021. — Screengrab from a Twitter video
Woman being groped by several men at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on August 14, 2021. — Screengrab from a Twitter video

  • 20 arrested for assaulting woman at Minar-e-Pakistan.
  • Two incidents occurred at Minar-e-Pakistan — at 11:15pm and 2am.
  • Unidentified men tortured guards and torched a motorcycle.
  • Despite such incidents, security was not beefed up.

The number of police personnel deployed at the Minar-e-Pakistan's surrounding areas were not increased on August 14 despite two untoward incidents taking place at the site a day earlier, a report submitted to Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and first information reports revealed Thursday.

The development comes after an August-14 episode triggered anger and widespread criticism of the prevalent misogyny in Pakistan when a video clip, showing hordes of men of all ages climbing a fence and attacking a lone woman, went viral on social media.

The first incident on August 13 occurred at around 11:15pm when several unidentified men beat security guards Shahid, Shafiq, and Waqas who were stationed outside the Minar-e-Pakistan, according to an FIR filed with the police.

The crowd then broke the lock of gate number 5, entered the vicinity, and climbed the Minar-e-Pakistan, the FIR stated, from where they later pelted stones on security personnel and tortured guards Usman and Zeeshan.

The security staff was finally able to throw the hooligans out of the Minar-e-Pakistan's vicinity, the FIR said.

The second incident took place when the unidentified people, not backing down, at 2am, had burnt down a motorcycle and a cabin at the Minar-e-Pakistan.

They had also broken CCTV cameras, walkthrough gates, and lights installed there, the FIR mentioned, with police saying that a case of hooliganism and arson has been registered against the people.

Report to CM

Meanwhile, the report submitted to the CM Punjab mentioned that 25,000 people were presented at the Greater Iqbal Park and several of the citizens were involved in torching a motorbike, sources said.

The report mentioned that the incident which took place at night on August 13 was not promptly reported and high-ranking officials were not informed timely, sources said.

Despite the August 13 incident, security was not beefed up on the 14th, sources added.

20 people arrested: Fayyaz Chohan

Twenty people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in assaulting a woman at Minar-e-Pakistan, Punjab government spokesman Fayyazul Hassan Chohan.

The minister, according to Geo News, said the people whose image can be seen clearly would not be spared, as he also condemned the incident where a man had harassed a woman who was sitting in a Qingqi rickshaw.

Punjab suspends cops for negligence

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.

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. "People have high expectations from the police and the police have to carry out their duties according to their aspirations," 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 her.

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, tossed her into 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.