Notions of decency, dignity and morality seem to be vanishing fast from our land of the pure and what we appear to be left with is a twisted sense of honour and justice. This painful reality hit home like never before with the shameful events that took place in Gambat, Sindh, coming into limelight. As reported in this newspaper, a woman and a man were paraded naked in public by the Khairpur police on July 27, on allegations of “intent of adultery”. The case that was registered for the incident recounted that “the police received a tip-off about a man, who had called on two women for adultery”. On reaching his residence, the three were allegedly found to be in a compromising position by the policemen. This triggered the most depraved of responses from the law enforcers with a video clip of the incident revealing that the area’s SHO and his henchmen paraded the man and one of the women naked, while escorting them to the police station as an apparent punishment for their alleged crime.
This event brings into sharp focus the mentality of our law enforcers — especially those stationed in smaller towns and villages — who abuse their authority with extreme abandon and have absolutely no qualms about taking on the roles of judge, jury and executioner. This is not the first time that the law enforcement mechanism, instead of providing justice, only served to make a mockery of it, and unfortunately, this will not be the last time this happens, either. Whatever wrongdoing the accused may have been involved in, subjecting them to such an ordeal — and that, too, by those who did not have the authority to pronounce judgments on their actions — goes beyond the norms of justice and decency. One associated acts of this nature with the kind of vigilante justice that jirgas meted out, but to see law enforcers acting in a similar manner is highly disturbing.
Thankfully, the SHO in question along with his cohorts, have been suspended from duty. Now is the time to set the right precedent. All those involved in this despicable act must be dismissed from the police force and criminally charged. Anything less than this will only serve to encourage those enjoying power to continue to abuse it at will.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2012.
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