LAHORE: Taking on the role of silent spectators, like other pedestrians, police officials did not bother to intervene when a few family members of a woman beat her on the premises of the Lahore High Court and pulled her onto the road by the hair.
The woman and her newlywed husband had reached Lahore High Court to record their statements in which the couple would declare that they had tied the knot of their own free will.
About a month ago, Humaira and Imran had solemnised their marriage of their own free will. However, the family of the girl disagreed with the union and registered an FIR over her ‘abduction’. On Tuesday, Humaira and Imran were coming to LHC to fulfill the legal requirements of recording their statements to avoid any further hurdles being created by the parents of the girl.
At the same time, some family members were already waiting for Humarira. As soon as the couple reached the LHC, the relatives caught ahold of the two and started beating them. They brutally assaulted Humaira by holding her by the hair and dragging the woman out onto the street. Neither pedestrians nor police officials bothered to intervene and save her from the brazen assault on a court premises.
Humaira continued crying, screaming and raised a hue and cry, but no security officials moved to rescue her. Similarly, Imran was also being attacked and sought the help of the police, but not a single personnel came to the aid of the tormented couple. Both Humaira and Imran were injured when thrashed black and blue, witnesses said. They added that the path leading up to the LHC resembled the look of a battlefield as the man and woman were being beaten dragged and humiliated.
The witnesses continued that Imran was also enraged over the conduct of the police officials, who according to him, showed complete negligence. He was heard as saying that the lackadaisical approach of the law enforcers could have even led to the killing of either him or his wife. Imran made no bones about the fact that police failed to intervene and pacify the matter in a timely way.
Senior advocate Azhar Siddique said it is regrettable that a woman was dragged onto the road from the LHC, but the police did not even notice the incident. He pointed out that it was a clear failure on the part of the police department that people were being thrashed and even killed, but the force merely stood by the wayside. The lawyer rhetorically asked if there was anything wrong with marrying someone a person loves.
It is worth mentioning that several incidents occurred either inside or outside the LHC where couples were badly beaten, tortured and sometimes even killed for love marriages. In 2014, a 25-year-old woman was stoned to death by her family outside the Lahore High Court in a so-called “honour” killing for marrying the man she loved.
Farzana Parveen was murdered by more than two dozen attackers, including her brother and father, for marrying against her family’s wishes. The brazen, brutal nature of the killing, in broad daylight in the centre of Pakistan’s second largest city, triggered outrage around the world.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2018.