On Wednesday, three cops, including 2 constables and an assistant sub-inspector, were reportedly arrested for abusing, stripping and assaulting a 30-year-old Afghan national, Amir, at Tehkal police station in Peshawar, Pakistan. The abuse was recorded by someone on a phone, the video of which later went viral on social media. In the said video, a policeman could be seen forcibly taking off the clothes of the victim and then thrashing him.
The First Information Report (FIR) was registered on the complaint of a police officer. Amir had earlier uttered choicest of expletives for high ranking police officials, including the inspector general and the Senior Superintendent of Police (SP), in a viral video. A week later, the cops hunted down the Afghan national and physically abused him. The resident of Tehkal was forced to apologise for uttering profanities against the cops and promise not to repeat the expletives again.
Zahoor Babar Afridi, who serves as the SSP (operations) in Peshawar, informed that the high command had taken cognisance of the matter and that action would be taken as per the law. The three cops involved in stripping and assaulting Amir had been suspended. A case had been lodged against the trio under the KP Police Act, 2017, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and Sections 335 (assault), 118 (concealing design to commit an offence) and 119 (public servant concealing design to commit an offence) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Besides, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Thekal police station was suspended for ‘poor supervision’.
Protests against the torture of Amir
After the video of Amir’s torture went viral on social media, protests took place against the high-handedness of the police force. Demonstrators were seen raising slogans while the cops chased them away. Shots were also fired in air to disperse the crowd in Peshawar.
In a sit-in protest against the abuse of the Afghan national, people were seen adhering to social distancing rules and holding placards to raise awareness about the issue.
KP Chief Minister takes notice
Following social media outrage and public protests, Masood Khan took cognisance of the matter and directed the provincial police chief to submit a report regarding the case. Khan is the Chief Minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Inspector General of the province, Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi, has also ordered the Peshawar Capital City Police officer to probe the matter and file a detailed report. Ajmal Wazir, the adviser to CM on Information, informed that a committee would be formed and a report would be submitted within a day. He stated that police brutality would not be tolerated and a fair and transparent investigation would be conducted.