A landlord put a garland of shoes around the neck of an old man after his son pelted his dogs with stones.
On Wednesday afternoon, a local panchayat announced that a 70-year-old man be publicly humiliated after his son pelted the landlords dogs with stones. “My grandson only hit the dogs because they were growling at him and he thought they would attack him,” Kahror Lal Moza resident Muhammad Buksh was punished after his 12-year-old son Arif hit landlord Ghulam Abbas’s dogs.
“How can they punish my father for something that I did? Even then they didn’t bother to even ask us what happened,” Arif said.
A panchayat of over 20 people decided the case after landlord Ghulam Abbas asked that Buksh be punished for his insolence. “The fact is that Abbas has a longstanding rivalry with Buksh, who previously worked on his lands.
This certainly isn’t about his dogs,” said a Kahror village resident Asad.
Locals in the area protested against the treatment of Buksh. He was paraded around the village wearing a necklace of shoes and he was publicly beaten. “They humiliated him because a couple of the landlords dogs were turned away with stones,” Arif said. “I turned the dogs away because they would have attacked me. These people are now trying to tell me that the landlord’s dogs are more important than my father!” he said.
“I don’t have anything to say against these people because they will attack my family. My son is more important to me than this humiliation,” Buksh told reporters.
Several eyewitnesses eventually called the police to the scene. A police team arrived in the village after the incident but no arrests were made. “The police didn’t even reprimand the landlord or question anyone from the panchayat,” said Asad.
Arif told reporters that his father did not want to press any charges against the accused but that he had approached the police. “I cannot stand for such treatment of my old father.
He was humiliated for nothing and the entire village stood by and watched it happen,” he said.
After the media got wind of the incident, police officials agreed to register a case against 18 members of the panchayat as well as the accused landlord Abbas. The panchayat members include Malik Koro, Chinad and Rahim Bukhsh. However, no one has been arrested in the case so far.
“I was right to do what I did. The boy was hitting my dogs on my property and he deserved to be admonished,” Abbas told police.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2011.