Islamabad: Punjab Police have arrested five men on charges of torturing, stripping and filming four women in Punjab’s industrial city Faisalabad city’s Bawa Chak Market.
The arrests were made on Tuesday after the video footage of the incident went viral a day earlier on Monday.
According to Faisalabad City Police Officer (CPO) Dr Mohammad Abid Khan raids were being conducted for arrests of more persons involved in the unfortunate incident.
The matter came to the attention of the authorities after a video of the four women, later known to be poor garbage-pickers, went viral on social media.
Immediately after the video was posted on social media a First Information Report (FIR) was registered at Millat Town police station against four named suspects — Saddam, the owner of Usman Electric Store, and his employee, Faisal, Zaheer Anwar, and Faqeer Hussain, the owner of a sanitery products’ shop — and 10 unidentified suspects on behalf of one of the victims.
The suspects have been charged under sections various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code like assault or use of criminal force against a woman and stripping her, insulting modesty or causing sexual harassment, punishment for rioting, and unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of common object.
According to the FIR, the complainant, a garbage-picker, went to Bawa Chak Market with three other women to collect garbage on Monday at around 10:30am.
She told police that they were thirsty and went inside a shop to drink water.
They asked a man, Saddam the owner at Usman Electric Store for a bottle of water.
However, Saddam began shouting at them, accusing them of entering his shop with the intention to steal, the FIR said, adding that other suspects also reached the shop upon hearing him shouting.
They began beating the women, stripped them and dragged them through the market. “They continued to beat us for around an hour and made our videos in naked condition,” the FIR quoted the complainant as saying. Later, members of the victims’ family rushed to the market and gathered at the spot pleading with the suspects to let the women go, according to the FIR.
“The suspects committed gross injustice by stripping us, dragging us through the market and torturing us and strict action should be taken against them,” the complainant said in the FIR.
According to a tweet by the Punjab Police, two of the suspects were arrested Monday night and three others were arrested later on Tuesday.
“All aspects of the incident are being investigated,” the tweet said.