Feast beside corpse sparks outrage

Kasur police arrest 12 over alleged fatal thrashing of hawker

Muhammad Shehzad March 22, 2022
PHOTO: Punjab Police


In a shocking incident on Tuesday, over 200 guests attending a marriage in Pattoki enjoyed eating food in the presence of a body of a hawker lying in the middle of the hall.

The poor man had been allegedly tortured to death by some of the guests.

According to the police, a scuffle took place between the deceased, Muhammad Ashraf, who was selling chips, and the wedding guests.

The guests along with their local accomplices subjected him to severe torture, after which he succumbed to his injuries on the spot.


Hundreds of guests at a marriage enjoyed the feast in presence of the body on the floor of the hall of a hawker who had allegedly been tortured to death by some of them in Pattoki.

A police official said on Tuesday that a scuffle had happened between the deceased, Muhammad Ashraf , who was selling chips, and participants of the marriage procession at Aljannat Marriage Hall.

The guests along with their local accomplices started beating him with sticks and fists and subjected him to torture, after which he succumbed to his injuries on the spot.

The Punjab Police spokesperson said the CCTV footage and other evidence was being scrutinised for investigation and no effort would be spared in providing justice to the family of the victim.

A video of the the incident showed that the body was lying on the ground, partly covered with a white cloth, while over two hundred people were having food. The people present at the spot appeared unmoved as a person shot the video. As the video was posted on social media, it shocked people immensely.

The netizens expressed outrage over the inhumane and insensitive attitude of the people seen in the video.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Chairperson Hina Jilani said while speaking to The Express Tribune that the incident was not only one of disrespect to humanity but shameful to the society where such people lived. This society has fallen so low that it has turned worse than even those of medieval ages, she remarked.

She added that any such incident had not been reported earlier because the society had a little bit of values left. But they have gradually eroded. The society, instead of improving, has been deteriorating.

The prominent rights activist said a mindset being propagated in the society sometimes in the name of religion and at other times of culture and tradition had eroded sensitivity of the people toward a human life.

“When someone would speak against such trends and actions like killing someone, the people around you would get up and start questioning you rather than such trends,” she said.

Hina Jilani added that unfortuantely the leadership that validated the voices against such trends was also missing.

“We are living in a society where brutal incidents of mob lynching, violence against women, vulnerable sections of society, minorities and children is quite rampant,” she said. The HRCP Chairperson said the people who were involved in such violent and inhumane acts knew that they were wrong but they were doing so because of stubbornness, insensitivity and a prevalent sense of impunity.

The hawker was a poor man and no one would come after them if they treated him inhumanly. No one would care, she said, pointing out the mindset behind the incident.

National Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (NHRCP) Member Nadeem Ashraf said such an act could only be committed by a person who had fallen to the lowest character. He said that there was a need to look into the root cause of this attitude.

He pointed out that such a level of insensitivity had a basis in the environment and upbringing.

The rights advocate also pointed towards a trend of lynching incidents in recent years, where people took the law into their own hands.

He said such incidents involved sheer lack of empathy and also promoted it.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rao Sardar Ali Khan ordered the officers concern to take stern action against the perpetrators of the incident.

Kasur District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Sohaib Ashraf said police teams had arrested 12 people from Kunganpur, Pattoki and Sarai Mughal on Monday night in connection with the alleged killing.

He said every aspect of the incident was being investigated.

DPO Ashraf said team of the forensic science agency had gathered evidence from the spot and the facts would be ascertained after its analysis.


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