LAHORE - Another case of power abuse and police brutality surfaced the scene on Friday as Shadmaan Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) Rana Zulfiqar was held for inquiry on charges of harassing and beating staff members of the Nairang Art Gallery, including a young female curator.
The newly transferred SHO raided the art gallery-cum-café on August 2. During the raid, he allegedly assaulted the staff members and bruised the young female curator of the gallery. Eyewitnesses claimed that the SHO at first picked on customers and then administered a beating on the female curator and staff members intervening to rescue her. The incident took place a day before Ramadan when the SHO was heading back to Shadman Police Station located on Jail Road. Eyewitnesses said the SHO was stopped as a young lady trying to park her car in front of the art gallery, took a little long.
The delay infuriated the SHO and he marched into the gallery with his staff members. Inside the café, he started questioning a young couple having lunch. As the couple told him they were married and the husband was an advocate, the SHO backed off. He then asked the maintenance manager to call the gallery in-charge, a female curator. On meeting the curator, the SHO noted down her name and address. When the young lady questioned the SHO on taking down her personal details, the SHO first criticised her appearance and then hit her. As the curator tripped down, two of the gallery staff came forward for her rescue but were also thrashed by the SHO.
The curator was traumatised by the incident and refused to talk to anyone or resume her job. Later, the gallery owner’s son came and pacified the policemen, requesting him to meet the gallery owner. “At first the SHO said he would wait for my father to arrive, but after a few minutes he just stood up and left the gallery,” said the owner’s son. “I insisted him to stay which again made him angry and he said ‘Im not your fathers servant’ and shoved me into his car,” he added. Meanwhile, the gallery owner reached the scene and got his son released from the police.
All top cops including the chief city police officer, Model Town Police superintendent and deputy superintendent police (investigation) Ichchra refused to comment on the incident.