Minar-i-Pakistan assault case 98 suspects released for not being identified by victim

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Staff Reporter

An additional district and sessions court on Friday ordered release of 98 persons, accused of harassing and assaulting a woman in Minar-i-Pakistan on August 14.

The suspects were produced in the court on Friday. “The men were not identified in the identification parade held on September 1,” the investigation officer informed the court.

Consequently, the additional session judge instructed the police to discharge the men from the case. “There’s no point in keeping them locked up now,” he said.

On Wednesday, the victim identified six out of 104 men arrested in the case during an identification parade.

Since August 21, 104 suspects have been sent to jail for identification. The men were identified through geofencing and facial recognition software.

The police have been instructed to keep the court and prosecution team updated on the identification progress.

Meanwhile, a man, identified as Asmatullah, filed a petition for criminal proceedings to be taken against the woman in the Lahore High Court. Justice Shahid Hussain reserved the court’s decision on the admissibility of the petition.

Asmatullah claimed that the TikToker had invited her followers to Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14. “According to the guards of the Greater Iqbal Park, the woman had two chances to escape the crowd but she didn’t avail them,” the petition claimed.

The TikToker should have had informed the guards to provide her security prior to inviting her fans, he argued. “The incident has brought shame to Pakistan across the globe,” it added.

The petition called for “criminal action” against the woman for “inciting the mob” and demanded regulation of content on social media applications such as TikTok. “Create SOPs for TikTokers to meet fans in public places,” he pleaded.

In response, however, Justice Hussain ruled that the high court can’t file a case against a citizen. “It is the job of a sessions court to decide if the case should be filed or not.”

The court rejected the petition. The victim said that she was at Minar-i-Pakistan with her friends to make a video for her YouTube channel when suddenly more than 300 to 400 men attacked them.

The victim said when she and her friends tried to get away from the crowd, the guards at the Minar opened the gate of the fence and they went inside.

The men jumped over the fence and surged towards us and started pulling me, the woman said. She said that they clawed and tore her clothes. She said that some men tried to help her but the crowd was so overwhelmingly large that they couldn’t do anything.

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