KARACHI : After a Facebook video showing rights activist Jibran Nasir being detained by the police escort of a judge went viral on the social media on Monday, Twitterati — including journalists and social activists — weighed in on the ugly incident.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Nasir said: “On what grounds did the high court judge’s protocol manhandle me … dragged me out of my vehicle, tore my clothes and slapped me around! That is all I ask.”
“The protocol officer told me that I should be grateful that he didn’t shoot me and that he only slapped me,” the rights activist said.
“Why don’t they charge me with anything after they found out my identity, I guess this is how it feels to be an ordinary citizen in our country,” he added.
“I used to respect Omar Shahid Hamid but after he lied in his tweet just to protect these police officers my respect for him is in the past tense now,” he said.
SSP Omar Shahid Hamid, the police chief of District South, said Nasir was involved in a road rage incident in which he tried to block a senior member of the judiciary’s vehicle when it crossed him on the road.
Rights activists and journalists doubled down on their support for Nasir, condemning the authorities for the ‘police brutality’.
Others called for Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar to take notice of the incident as Nasir, who is also contesting the upcoming elections as an independent candidate, was arrested by police officers who were part of a High Court judge’s protocol.
People also spoke out against the VIP culture in the country and questioned if a politician was being treated in this manner, then how would an ordinary citizen be treated.
Even Nasir’s critics came out to condemn the high-handedness of the police and VIP culture. Television anchor and artiste Hamza Ali Abbasi called it a”disgusting display of brutality”.
Nasir allegedly attempted to block the vehicle of a senior member of the judiciary.
“I’ve been beaten and being forcibly taken away by [police] protocol [officers] of a judge,” Nasir was heard saying in a Facebook live video.
“This happened because they [protocol vehicles] pushed mine to the roadside along the footpath and was hit with a gun chamber when I attempted to stop them from doing so,” he added.
SSP Omar Shahid, Hamid, who is also a renowned novelist, said the police were inquiring into the incident to get to facts.
Nasir was also quoted by some media reports as saying that a case should be registered against him if he has committed a crime.
Nasir’s supporters say CCTV footage would tell who is telling the truth. However, they say the footage should be obtained before it is tampered with by the police.
Speaking to the media inside the police station, Nasir said the VIP culture must end in Pakistan. He further added that the CCTV footage would vindicate him. “If I’ve committed a crime, I’m ready to face the consequences,” he added.