LONDON: Police arrested two men in Lahore on Wednesday for their alleged torture of one suspect’s wife over her refusal to dance for them. According to a first information report registered on March 26, Asma Aziz’s husband of four years and two of his employees tortured her over her refusal to dance for them. The Punjab police in statement said the incident had taken place in the city’s Defence Housing Authority area.
Asma, in a video circulating on social media, claimed that her husband had “always hit her a lot”. This time, she alleged, “He took my clothes off in front of his employees. The employees held me as he shaved my hair off and burned it. My clothes were bloody. I was bound by a pipe and hung from the fan. He threatened to hang me naked.”
She said that when she went to the Kahna police station to register a complaint, “they asked me for money”. She added that the police had, instead of providing her the FIR number or conducting a medical examination, asked her for money.
Superintendent Model Town Muhammd Ali Wasim took notice of Asma’s allegations of police officials’ involvement in trying to extort money from her. He asked the DSP Model Town to provide him a report after looking into the allegations.
She appealed to people for help, claiming that both her parents were dead and she had no place to go or food to eat.
In-charge Investigation at Kahna police station, Saleem Shaukat, told DawnNewsTV today that two of the suspects ─ the husband and one of his employees ─ had been arrested.
Punjab Inspector General of Police Amjad Javed Saleemi took notice of the incident and ordered a thorough investigation, directing DIG Investigation Dr Inam Waheed to personally investigate the matter and to make sure that the perpetrators of the attack are punished severely under the law.
After the news was reported, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted that she had taken notice and looked into the case. “My office was informed by station house officer of police station Kahna, Lahore: Police has registered FIR and arrested both accused and booked under sections 337(v) and 506. Medical report of the woman is awaited. One of the arrested is her husband.”
Aziz’s husband and one of his employees were handed over to police on four-day physical remand. The two were taken into custody on Wednesday after a video of Asma Aziz, the wife of one suspect, began circulating on social media. Aziz said her husband of four years had “always hit her a lot”.
Amnesty International South Asia called for Pakistan to make systemic changes to protect women from violence. The rights organisation in a tweet on Thursday stated that although it is “glad that strong and swift action has been taken against the torturers of Asma Aziz, we note with dismay the alarming rise in reported cases of violence against women. System change to protect women is necessary,” Amnesty said. “Action can’t only be taken on a case-by-case basis.”