On Friday (June 11) night, a group of police officers in Pakistan illegally detained 19 employees of a fast-food joint for refusing to serve them free burgers. The incident took place in DHA Phase-6 in Lahore city of Pakistan.
Reportedly, some police officers had visited the said branch of fast-food joint ‘Johnny and Jugnu’ a few days before the incident. They had demanded free burgers from the eatery staff. On being refused service, the cops left the food joint in rage. However, on Friday night, they came back and detained all the employees over ‘baseless and unjust’ reasons for 7 hours. Thus, the restaurant was left with hungry customers and unattended kitchens. Reportedly, most of the staff members were young individuals, including several university students.
Eatery speaks out against the harassment meted out to them
In a statement on Facebook on Saturday, Johnny and Jugnu branch in Lahore said, “We are writing this with a lot of disappointment, anger, and pain. The incident that took place yesterday was not the first time it happened and we are sure it’s not going to be the last. Not until we find it in ourselves to raise our voice, to fight.. against the injustice that prevails, against the abuse of power against a common man. Our teams work tirelessly day in and out, we work tirelessly, all of it just to make this a better place for our people, our society.”
“And this is what we get in return, injustice, unfair treatment. Our innocent teams being dragged to the police station because they refused to give free burgers to someone “very special”. We’re not ones to stop, we’re not ones to give up. And we will fight. We will fight against the unjust systems. We will fight against the tyrants, against the status quo, against people who misuse their power and influence against innocent people. And we ask you to stand with us, to support us,” it added.
The eatery further emphasised, “Raise your voice and help us take on this fight. A fight to make this horrible place better, a fight to make things right, a fight to change the toxic culture of this society and the ones that control it. We, as common people, ask you to help us in our cause. Today and till the day we succeed. Do your part.” It has called upon individuals, small businesses, and artists to reach out to them and raise their voice against police hegemony.
9 police officials suspended for abuse of power
The incident drew the ire of netizens, prompting the Lahore police to immediately swing into action. In a tweet, Punjab police informed, “IG Punjab Inam Ghani has taken notice of the Johnny and Jugnu restaurant incident and has suspended the SHO Defence C and the staff of the police station involved.” A total of 9 police officials have been suspended for abuse of power. IG Ghani had also directed Lahore CCPO to initiate departmental and legal action against the accused.
IG Punjab Inam Ghani have taken notice of the Johnny and Jugnu restaurant incident and have suspended the SHO Defence C and the staff of the police station involved. No one is allowed to take law into his own hands. Injustice will not be tolerated. All of them will be punished.— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) June 12, 2021
The tweet further added, “No one is allowed to take law into his own hands. Injustice will not be tolerated. All of them will be punished.” Reportedly, Punjab police officials are often accused of corruption and soliciting money and food from small businesses. Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for a reform in the police force, highlighting that cronies are appointed by politicians to take control of police stations.