Police officials have registered a case on behalf of a family complaining that they were being harassed by their neighbour for opening a brothel.
According to police officials, over 100 people protested outside the local police station on Saturday evening, complaining that a house in their neighbourhood was operating as a brothel. “This is a vicious lie. I have six daughters and we live in a joint family system. Just because my daughters do not cover their heads and are all working and going to college, the village people have begun to start rumours,” Mohallah Zohaibabad, Fatehpur Punjabian resident Shafi Ahmed. “They have no evidence to these serious charges except that my daughters are beautiful and that lots of people visit my house. This is slander,” he said.
Police officials said that they began inquiring into the incident after over a hundred people protested outside the police station. “A huge crowd gathered claiming that a brothel had been operating in the area. When we investigated we found no such thing. Shafi has six daughters and a large family. There are lots of visitors to the house and he is not as conservative as others in the neighbourhood. That is why he is being targeted,” said Inspector Javed Satthiana.
“They want me to move from here because we are not as close-minded as these people. My daughters all study and some are working in offices. They are charging us for being indecent simply because I don’t lock my girls up and force them to marry at a young age!” Shafi told police.
“The police are siding with the brothel owners because they probably visit the place themselves,” said Haji Abdullah Mushtaq, one of the men leading the protest. “This place is spreading indecency in our area and we will not stand for it,” he said.
The women of Shafi’s house said that they had recently been harassed by the village people. “Recently, they spray painted obscene graffiti on our gate and one my sisters got sprayed with black paint on her way home from college,” Rubina Shafi told reporters.
“No one is victimising them. They are openly licentious and they taunt us,” said Fatehpur resident Abdul Hameed Sarwar. “We will not tolerate such practices in our honourable neighbourhood. The police needs to arrest Shafi and his daughter,” he added.
The protesters visited the Rahim Yar Khan district coordination officer (DCO) and district police officer (DPO) in this regard on Sunday afternoon. “We will look into the matter. The police are already conducting an inquiry and we will take action accordingly,” the DPO said.
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the family
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2011.
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