A female lawyer complained on Friday that she was slapped by a policeman after an argument over who should sit in the front seat of a public transport wagon.
Saddar Station House Officer Ghulam Fareed told The Express Tribune that the policeman had been identified and a case registered against him under Section 354 (voluntarily causing hurt) on the complaint of the lawyer.
He said probe into the matter had been initiated.
He said the accused, Muhammad Boota of Saddar police station, had stopped a wagon near Central Jail in Jaranwala and asked Advocate Neelum Ashraf, sitting in the front seat, to get off and sit at the back.
He said she told him that the front seats were meant for female passengers and refused to get off. On this, the SHO said, the policeman allegedly dragged her out. While doing so, she tried to push him away and he slapped her.
A witness told the police that the policeman slapped her so hard that her face turned red. Some passengers and the wagon driver tried to stop him, but he fled away.
The advocate, some of her fellows and the passengers, later blocked the road and protested against the police’s behaviour.
The Jaranwala Road remained blocked for more than two hours. The station house officer then arrived on the scene and requested the protesters to disperse. He assured them of action against the policeman involved.
Advocate Ashraf later moved an application with the District Bar Association requesting that it take notice of the police atrocities and excesses against the citizens.
Talking to The Express Tribune, she said, “It is unfortunate that the police officials considered themselves above the law and have forgotten how to behave with women.”
She said he had disgraced her and maltreated her without any reason.
The SHO said that the investigation had been assigned to Sub Inspector Muhammad Ramazan, who was directed to submit his report in a week.If found guilty, the SHO said, the policeman will be arrested and punished.
District Bar Association President Advocate Munawwar Sandhu told The Express Tribune that they had received the lawyer’s application. He said he had called a meeting of the association on Saturday (today) to discuss the matter.
He expressed his concern over the increasing number of cases of clashes between the lawyers and the police, saying both needed to respect each other.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2012.