Jhang Bazaar police on Thursday registered a case against a shopkeeper accused of beating a former employee, shaving his head and parading him through streets on a donkey for his refused to give testimony in a theft case. The boy, Aqeel, was then handed over to the police and charged with theft in the same case.
Aqeel was released on Thursday for lack of evidence.
The original complaint filed by Muzaffar Colony resident Kashif Siddiqi, the shopkeeper, on Wednesday accused seven unidentified men of stealing goods from his shop on Jhang Road in Pratab Nagar.
Aqeel told police that his name was added because he had refused to give testimony against some men Siddiqi wanted to accuse. He said he was abducted from his house by Siddiqi and his brothers and taken to the shop where they detained before he was handed over to the police. He said he was also beaten up and paraded through the streets in Pratab Nagar on a donkey.
SHO Farukkah Waheed told The Express Tribune that Aqeel had bruises all over his body from a brutal beating. He said he was released and his complaint against the shopkeeper registered after a thorough investigation in the matter. He said Siddiqi’s complaint against Aqeel was not backed up by any evidence.
SHO Waheed said a team had raided Siddiqi’s house for his arrest but he was absent.
The case registered against Siddiqi and his alleged accomplices mentions Sections 438/12 (punishment for house-trespass), 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory), 348 (wrongful confinement to extort confession or compel restoration of property), 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt, slavery), 447 (punishment for criminal trespass), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Talking to The Tribune, Zeeshan Khan, a resident of Jhang Road, said the boy was mounted on the donkey and the animal beaten by sticks to run faster. He said he was forced to put on a garland of shoes. The accused later took him away in a car, he added.
“He (the shopkeeper) had no evidence against the boy yet he subjected him to such treatment,” Naghma Rani, a neighbour, said. “No punishment given to them can undo what the boy suffered,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2012.