The man in Islamabad was filmed beating and abusing a woman and a man, stripping them off at gunpoint. The case highlights the growing problem of gender-based violence in Pakistan.
akistani police on Wednesday arrested a man in Islamabad after a video of him threatening and stripping a young couple emerged on social media.
The video, which reportedly showed the suspect in a room full of men assaulting the woman and man, has prompted widespread condemnation, with activists demanding strict punishment for the accused.
The incident highlighted the high level of gender-based violence in Pakistan, which regularly ranks poorly among on international surveys of gender-based violence.
The video showed “five to six men… keeping the victims in custody under gunpoint. The accused also stripped the man and the woman while threatening them,” according to the police report cited by Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Soon after the video went viral, police arrested the suspect and his accomplices, said Islamabad police Deputy Commission Hamza Shafqaat.
He also appealed to social media users to delete the videos that reveal the identity of the couple.
The case was registered under Section 354-A (assaulting and stripping a woman of her clothes), Section 506
“The video of violence against a woman and a man went viral on social media. Islamabad police immediately utilised all resources to arrest the accused in a few hours, registered an FIR and initiated legal action,” Islamabad police said on Twitter.
Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said that the culprit had been arrested after police efforts. “His accomplices are also being arrested. It is once again requested to please delete the videos which show the victims,” he said.
Hours later, the deputy commissioner said that all the suspects had been arrested.
The incident, which was highlighted on social media, quickly became the top trend in the country with netizens calling for strict punishment for the main accused, identified as Usman Mirza.
“Monsters like Usman Mirza are product of a culture in which they know they can commit horrific violence with impunity. Unfortunately, women face the brunt of our system’s brutality,” said activist Ammar Ali Jan.
Journalist Najia Ashar said just arresting the culprit was not enough. “Make an example out of this monster,” she wrote.
PPP leader Naz Baloch said that instant justice and speedy trial of heinous offences is the only solution to root out violence against women.