Mob assault on TikToker triggers national outrage

Non-bailable clauses added to FIR; PM speaks to Punjab police chief about incident

Our Corresondent August 18, 2021

Non-bailable clauses have been added to the FIR against the culprits who assaulted a female TikToker by a mob at Greater Iqbal Park near Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Independence Day, Punjab CM’s focal person Azhar Mashwani said on Wednesday.

The incident has sparked outrage nationwide.

“Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered the arrest of the culprits as soon as possible,” he added.

Mashwani said police were analysing video clips and CCTV footage of the area to identify those involved in the assault.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the incident and spoke with Punjab IGP Inam Ghani about it.

Police are “catching all [the] culprits involved in manhandling of [the] female TikToker”, PTI representative Sayed Zulfi Bukhari confirmed on Twitter.

He added that it was a "gross violation of laws and social norms” and pledged that the government would not “spare a single person involved" in the assault.

Bukhari further wrote that those involved in damaging the statue of Ranjit Singh at Lahore Fort would also be arrested.

The Punjab police have sought help from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to identify the culprits involved in the incident.

IGP Ghani spoke to the NADRA chairman on the phone and asked to start the process of identification of the culprits immediately.

"The culprits have been booked under Section 354-A of the PPC, which is punishable by life imprisonment or death penalty, the Punjab police chief added.

The IGP said no efforts would be spared to ensure justice on a priority basis.

The police chief also directed the Lahore CCPO and DIG investigations to supervise the progress of the case.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also condemned the assault and harassment that occurred near Minar-e-Pakistan.

According to Mazari, the human rights ministry was in touch with the relevant authorities to ensure strict action against the perpetrators.

She said suspects had been arrested, an FIR was lodged and her ministry was following up with the authorities.

“We need to try and change such violent behavioural patterns in our people,” she remarked.
Mazari also urged “effective implementation” of laws to have “some deterrent effect” on people’s behaviour.

However, she maintained that the main challenge was changing the ‘mindset’ of the people to stop crimes against “all vulnerable members of our society”.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif also took to Twitter to denounce the incident, saying that he was “deeply disturbed at the harassment of the young woman”.

Shehbaz added that he was worried about the direction society was heading in.

“The recent anti-women incidents are a reminder that [the] malaise is deep-rooted,” he wrote, adding that it was “very shameful”.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted that the assault of a young woman by a mob “should shame every Pakistani”.

“It speaks to a rot in our society. Those responsible must be brought to justice,” he added.

“The women of Pakistan feel insecure and it is all our responsibility to ensure safety and equal rights to all.”

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar termed the incident “heinous and reprehensible” and underlined that there shall be no compromise on ensuring the protection and safety of women.

In a tweet, Sarwar said every Pakistani must fulfill their responsibility towards the protection of women, and such incidents should not be tolerated under any circumstances. He highlighted that a case had been registered against the culprits and they would be dealt with an iron hand.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman also termed the incident “unfortunate and heart-rending”.

He ensured the woman’s family that justice would be served and his government would leave no stone unturned to put the culprits behind bars.

On August 14, a female TikToker along with her companions was harassed and assaulted by a mob in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park.

The victim stated in her complaint lodged with the Lari Adda police station that she was filming a video near Minar-e-Pakistan along with her friends when a mob of around 400 people attacked them.

She alleged that the mob picked her up and started tossing her in the air. “I was stripped and my clothes were torn apart,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab IG has constituted a three-member committee to arrest the culprits.

(With input from agencies)



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