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In support of justice

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A young girl, then aged 12 years and a student at a local school, had just finished dinner with her family on a hot and humid August night in 2016. Her aunts, cousins, sister and mother were still having dinner in the courtyard of their home in District Faisalabad. It was an all female gathering with no male family member present. All of a sudden, a large number of male policemen in uniform climbed through the outer walls of the house and trespassed into the house. They were armed with weapons and sticks. As soon as they entered they fired in the air and started beating all of them with sticks. A policeman who was carrying a torch shown light on the little girl’s face and slapped her and pushed her on the ground. During this ordeal the police kept asking them about the whereabouts of the males of the family. As there was no male present in the house at that time, they gathered all household effects and burned them in the courtyard of the house. Not satisfied with this brutality, the policemen dragged all eight of them out of the house and stuffed them like goats in the police van.

Outside the house, neighbors stood by and watched without anyone daring to intervene to stop the police from beating and dragging them. They were taken to a police station and locked up. She was lucky to have been produced before a judicial officer the next day and was released on bail. The other women were not so lucky and stayed in the lock up for one more day before bail could be granted. Until today, the little girl cannot sleep at night and suffers from the lasting trauma of that fateful night. The neighbors still shun the family and look at them as if they were criminals, such is the social stigma attached to the police entering your house and dragging you out to lock you up in a police station. Her crime: born in poverty in rural Pakistan.

In addition to the Constitutional protection provided in Pakistan not only to the sanctity of home but also against torture for the purpose of extracting........

© Pakistan Today

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