KARACHI: In a brazen display of VIP culture, the police on Monday beat up popular right activist Jibran Nasir, who is also contesting the upcoming elections, before bundling him away for “refusing to give way to the security protocol of a judge” in Karachi.
The incident happened on Khaleequzaman Road near Karachi Club on Monday evening – and the entire episode was streamed live by Nasir on popular social networking site Facebook. Nasir is also in the run for NA-247 and PS-111 constituencies in the elections.
“I’ve been beaten and forcibly taken away by [police] protocol [officials] of a judge,” Nasir could be heard saying in the video.
“This happened because they [protocol vehicles] pushed mine to the roadside along the footpath and I was hit with a gun chamber when I attempted to stop them from doing so,” he says.
In the video, Nasir could be seen being overpowered by police officials and restrained from videotaping the incident further. Subsequently, he was shifted to the Frere police station, where he was detained for an hour.
Nasir told The Express Tribune that he has submitted an application at the Frere police station. “I just want to know under what authority the judge ordered to do it,” he questioned.
“I am not against his job and I do not want his suspension. I just want to change his attitude as I was beaten up on the orders of the judge right in front of the judge’s vehicle.”
He said that he was also seeking a police letter to allow him to get a medical examination at a hospital so that he can register an FIR, but the police refused. “I also want the same from the judge,” he said.
“The judge should come and tell the police under what authority he had ordered them to beat me and asked his protocol men to take me to the police station and lock me up.”
Nasir said he was released after he was identified as Advocate Jibran Nasir. “I have been released because I am Advocate Jibran Nasir, but my question is that what would have happened if I were a common citizen,” he questioned.
District South SSP Omar Shahid Hamid claimed Nasir was involved in a road rage incident. “Nasir was involved in a road rage incident in which he allegedly tried to block the vehicle of a senior member of the judiciary after that vehicle crossed him on the road,” he wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“The police escort briefly detained Nasir but subsequently let him go when his identity was confirmed. Nasir has claimed that he is under arrest, which is not the case. He is at liberty to leave the police station whenever he wishes. An inquiry is underway,” he wrote in another tweet.
Journalists, columnists and right activists took to the social media to condemn what happened to Jibran. “Arrest of Jibran Nasir is one bizarre development in an already bizarre political culture. I am failing to wrap my head around it,” wrote columnist and TV anchor Farrukh Pitafi.
Columnist Mehr Tarar called it an “ugly display of power”. “This VIP protocol on roads – of which Jibran Nasir is the latest victim – is one of the most vulgar and unnecessary displays of power in an already unequal society like ours…,” she wrote in a Twitter post.
Journalist Kamran Yousaf called upon people to follow Jibran’s example in order to rid the country of VIP culture.
“The so-called protocol in the name of security of VVIPs must end. People should follow the example of Jibran Nasir and resist wherever they find such injustice in the name of security. This is not fiefdom!” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.