SC's human rights cell takes notice of TikToker assault case

Report submitted in top court maintains 92 suspects so far arrested; exemplary punishments to be awarded


Hasnaat Malik August 23, 2021
PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

The Supreme Court Human Rights Cell on Monday took notice of sexual assault of a TikToker by a 400-strong mob at Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day.

The development came as Lahore police announced the arrest of 34 more suspects in connection with the assault of a female TikToker and her team at Lahore's Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day, taking the total number of suspects in custody to 126.

Punjab Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani, in a statement, said police teams were working round the clock to arrest all suspects involved in the incident.
The provincial police chief said that 15 of the arrested suspects were being sent on judicial remand for identification.

Read more Sexual harassment case hinges on intention: SC

In line with the apex court's order, the Human Rights Cell had directed the Punjab Police chief, Inam Ghani, to submit a report on the incident by today afternoon.

According to the report submitted to the SC, the police formed four special teams for a comprehensive investigation into the matter after the incident, and so far at least 92 suspects have been arrested through NADRA identification and geo-fencing.

The report maintained that the police sent 30 videos, 60 photographs to NADRA for identification, adding that nine people were identified by the national database authority and subsequently arrested.
The police investigated these nine accused and made more arrests on the basis of the information extracted from them, it added.

The report maintained that at least 700 people have been declared suspects after the police collected call data records (CDR) of more than 28,000 people from 6:30pm to 7:47pm (Aug 14). The geo-fencing data was collected with the help of intelligence agencies, as per the report.

“Approximately 407 suspected persons have been interviewed so far and out of them, 92 persons were short-listed. On Aug 21, 40 out of the suspect list and on Aug 22, 30 more were sent to judicial lockup for identification parade as per law and procedure. The rest of the suspects are being processed and shall be sent for an identification parade in due course,” the report added.

Moreover, the report quoted the police chief as saying that a thorough investigation into every aspect of the incident will be carried out. All resources will be used for impartial proceedings and exemplary punishments will be awarded to the people involved in this incident, the IGP assured the top court.

It may be noted here that Larri Adda police station SHO Muhammad Jamil and DSP Usman Haider, Badami Bagh SDPO have already been suspended from their posts over negligence.

Read Mob assault on TikToker triggers national outrage

Assault on TikToker

In a complaint lodged with the Lari Adda police station, the assault survivor said that she was filming a video near Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14 along with her friends when a mob of around 400 people attacked them.

The female TikToker in the FIR said that the mob picked her up and started tossing her in the air. “I was stripped and my clothes were torn apart,” she had said in the FIR. The victim while narrating her ordeal had said she cried for help but no one came to her rescue.

She had also complained that her gold ornaments, cash and mobile phone were also snatched by the mob.

Last week, non-bailable clauses were added to the FIR against the culprits who assaulted the woman, Punjab CM’s focal person Azhar Mashwani said.

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

 

 

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