MULTAN: A group of police officials beat up an Auqaf Department sweeper after he tried to stop them from harassing a group of women on Sunday.
According to eyewitnesses, the police officials beat up Auqaf Department sweeper Muhammad Azhar and locked him up after he tried to stop them from harassing a group of women outside the Bahauddin Zakariya darbar doors. “I saw the police manhandle the women as they were trying to enter the darbar.
They were calling them names and one of the cops even grabbed a woman and slapped her after she tried to call for help,” an eyewitness, Salman told reporters. “When Azhar went to stop them, they beat him with sticks and then took him in custody,” he added.
The accused police officials included Muhammad Amjad and several others. Salman said that Azhar was taken to the Lohari Gate Police station where he was severely beaten for several hours. Auqaf Department officials protested against the police torture and protested outside the Lohari Gate police station for Azhar’s release.
The department officials said that their protests would continue and that several eyewitnesses had seen over four police officials misbehaving with the women . “This is a shrine and yet they were harassing devotees,” Musarrat said.
Police officials refused to bring Azhar before the media and denied any knowledge of the incident. “We will not stand for this brutality. The women the cops abused have come forward and they will file a case. We will protest outside the DPOs office if Azhar is not released,” said Auqaf Department official Raza Hadi.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2011.
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