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Pakistan: Horrific assault

Police register case against hundreds of men for assaulting a woman

Tuesday 24 August 2021, by siawi3

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1641483/horrific-assault

Horrific assault

Editorial Dawn

Published August 19, 2021 - Updated a day ago

A VIDEO of a woman being assaulted by a crowd of men during Independence Day celebrations near Minar-i-Pakistan has shaken citizens to the core. Clips of the incident, now viral on social media, are unbearable to watch. The woman is assaulted, manhandled and groped by scores of men, with some unabashedly filming the crime. The men are brazen and ruthless. The complainant says she was attacked by nearly 400 men, some of whom scaled the enclosures to attack her and rip her clothes off.

The episode has proved a trigger for many women who described on social media how they themselves were assaulted or how they feared they would sooner or later face a similar situation. The trauma and anger among the women is palpable. This incident rubs salt in the deep wounds inflicted by the misogyny rampant in our country — the toxic mentality that allows for repeated assaults, victim-blaming and gaslighting of women. A case has been registered by the Lahore police against hundreds of men, with officials saying the video footage of the attack will help authorities track down the culprits. But bringing these perpetrators to justice is just one part of the solution. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done to correct the public narrative around women’s rights.

Read: The mob assault near Minar-i-Pakistan and why ‘Mera Jism, Meri Marzi’ matters more than ever

All too often, the country is gripped with horror as gruesome crimes against women make national news. While the thorough investigation of these cases is very important, it must be supported by unambiguous messaging by members of our government that such actions will be punished. Key officials must use their platforms not only to strongly condemn violence against women, but also to actively set the tone for women’s rights and opinion to be respected.

They must repeatedly and at every forum say that threats and harassment directed at women will not be tolerated, and then match these statements with action against the offenders. Unless the judicial process is supported by such a robust campaign, the environment that enables such crimes against women to take place will continue. But more needs to be done also at a subliminal level in the classrooms across this country when young Pakistanis are forming ideas about the world, and about the place of women in it. Respect for women is not conditional, and they are in the public sphere by right, not on the sufferance of the men in this country.

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Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1641195/police-register-case-against-hundreds-for-assaulting-woman-in-lahores-greater-iqbal-park-on-aug-14

Police register case against hundreds for assaulting woman in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on Aug 14

Imran Gabo

Published August 17, 2021 - Updated 3 days ago

Lahore police on Tuesday registered a case against hundreds of unidentified persons for assaulting and stealing from a female TikToker and her companions at the city’s Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day.

In the first information report (FIR) registered at the Lorry Adda police station, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the complainant stated that she, along with six companions, were filming a video near Minar-e-Pakistan on Independence Day when around 300 to 400 people “attacked us”.

She said that she and her companions made a lot of effort to escape from the crowd. Observing the situation, the park’s security guard opened the gate to the enclosure around Minar-e-Pakistan, the FIR quotes her as saying.

“However, the crowd was huge and people were scaling the enclosure and coming towards us. People were pushing and pulling me to the extent that they tore my clothes. Several people tried to help me but the crowd was too huge and they kept throwing me in the air,” she said.

She further stated that her companions were also assaulted. During the struggle, her ring and earrings were “forcibly taken”, besides a mobile phone of one of her companions, his identity card and Rs15,000 that he had on his person.

“The unidentified persons assaulted us violently,” the complainant added.

The FIR was registered under sections 354 A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft), 147 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Meanwhile, Lahore DIG Operations Sajid Kiyani ordered the superintendent of police (SP) to take “immediate legal action” against the suspects involved in the incident.

“The suspects should be traced with the help of the footage,” a statement quoted the police official as saying.

Those who “violated women’s honour and harassed them will be brought within the ambit of the law”, Kiyani added.

A video of the incident started circulating on social media earlier today with citizens expressing anger over the actions of the men in the video.

The latest incident comes amid renewed focus on violence against women in Pakistan, following the murders of Noor Mukadam and Quratul Ain in July.

In the same month, a video went viral on social media in which six men were seen harassing a couple in Islamabad. The men held the couple at gunpoint, forced them to strip and then beat them up. Moreover, they also abused the couple verbally and physically by doing vulgar acts.

Four of the suspects were later arrested.