Women involved in Faisalabad
caught stealing from shop,
forensic test of arrested people


FAISALABAD: In further process, it is revealed that all four women involved in unfortunate incident of stripping and filming by certain people including shop keepers were stated to be beggars and were caught stealing the various things from a shop. They are act of stealing and stripping off themselves and also torturing by the certain people are very visible in the footage available with the police and also on social media.

The police will take all arrested people to Lahore today for forensic test to determine the culprits who are responsible for compelling the women to strip off. The police have included clauses of violence in the and all four involved women have been legal medical check-up. Police in Faisalabad said on Wednesday they were investigating new evidence in a case in which four women were allegedly stripped before being tortured, saying authorities were examining CCTV footage and mobile videos to ascertain the truth of the case.
Five men were arrested on Monday and Tuesday on charges of assaulting a group of women, stripping them naked and filming them in a marketplace in Faisalabad. Mobile phone videos of the incident were widely shared on social media and showed the naked women being manhandled outside a shop as a large crowd watched. 

Two naked women being harassed by the aggressive people.

According to an initial police report, the women went to the area to collect garbage on Monday at around 10:30am. When they entered one of the stores in the market and asked for water, the shop owner accused them of trying to commit robbery. The women said they were subsequently beaten up, stripped, then dragged out on the road as people made their videos “in naked condition,” the police report said. 
New CCTV footage that emerged after the filing of the police report showed the women stripping themselves.

This photograph released by the Punjab Police on December 7, 2021, shows men arrested on charges of assaulting four women, stripping them naked and filming them in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Imran Mehmood, Faisalabad’s regional police officer, urged people to stop “victim blaming” after the emergence of the new videos, saying no conclusion could be drawn just by looking at CCTV footage.
“We will see if the women stripped themselves naked on their own or someone forced them to do it since the footage has no sound. We will examine all the video clips together to get to the bottom of the incident,” he told Arab News, adding: “People should avoid victim blaming before the relevant authorities reach a conclusion.”

This screengrab shows a woman being dragged through Faisalabad’s Bawa Chak Market on Monday.

Mehmood said his department was investigating the case on merit.
“At the moment, there are three well established facts,” he said. “The first crime which the arrested individuals committed was illegal confinement of these women, second was mishandling, and third was torturing them.”
The police official said neither the shopkeepers nor anyone among the crowd had called the police to report the case, which was their primary responsibility.
“When all of this was happening, no one bothered to stop it or inform the police,” he said. “We took action after we found out about the incident through our social media team.”
New CCTV footage, he added, would only determine the application of Section 354-A of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that deals with “assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes.”

Such acts are punishable by death or imprisonment for life along with financial penalty.
According to the police complaint, a copy of which is available with Arab News, the suspects have been charged under sections 354-A (assault or use of criminal force against a woman and stripping her), 509 (insulting modesty or causing sexual harassment), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the PPC.

Five of the 10 suspects allegedly involved in assault on the trash picking women after accusing them of theft had already been arrested. The CCTV footage of a shop viral on social media websites showed that the women entered the shop and picked up something. However, a man standing in the shop tried to stop one of the women and after failing to stop, he came out of the shop.

The man later tried to lock the shop but the women resisted and came out of the shop where the man grabbed two of the four women and beat them besides calling other people as seen in the CCTV footage.

It showed that the women were unbuttoning their clothes and two others tried to run away but were later captured by the mob. The video also showed that the women were stripping themselves before the crowd and one of them was weeping in the shop while another was dragged into the shop by the men.

Faisalabad City Police Officer Dr Abid Khan told Dawn that the new footage of the incident was included in the investigation. He said the act of undressing by women would also be included in the investigation.

On Monday, a woman lodged a complaint with the Millat Town police station stating that she was collecting solid waste with her three women companions around 10:30am at the Bawa Chak Market, Yousaf Chowk, when she felt thirsty and went inside a shop — Usman Electric Store — owned by Saddam and asked for a bottle of water.

She said the owner alleged that they entered his shop to steal money and electronic appliances. They called other shopkeepers and helpers and beat them. “The suspects also stripped them and dragged them in the market,” she said.

Later, police arrested five nominated suspects who were also presented in court which handed over the suspect to police on physical remand.