Police vandalism at Nairang Gallery Lahore

August 02, 2011
1. The Honorable Chief Minister Punjab
Mr. Mian Shahbaz Sharif 7 Club Road, GOR 1, Lahore
2. Inspector General Police Punjab
Mr. Javed Iqbal Poice Head Quarters Lahore

Re: Misconduct by a Police Officer (SHO Zulfiqar Ali, PS Shadman) with Female in Public

Dear Sirs,
I would like to present to you on this dismal day the facts regarding an extremely sad and revolting event where innocent people had to suffer at the hands of a law enforcement officer for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Being a Pakistani citizen, I have an inalienable right under Article 4 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 (“Constitution”) to enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with the law .

Your honour, facts narrated below will prove and show, that how our fundamental rightsArticle 14 (Right to dignity), Article 9 (Right to life), Article 18 (Right to trade/business) conferred by the Constitution have been infringed and violated by a Police Officer by taking the law in his own hands without following the law, PPC and the Police Order 2002.

Under Article 4 of the Police Order, 2002 it is a duty of a police officer to be professional, service orientated and accountable to people, to protect life, ensure rights and privileges are protected and to prevent harassment of women in public places (Article 4(r)).

Sir, this event took place at Nairang Art Galleries, a place commonly known and highly respected for its support and contribution to Lahore’s valuable art and literary realm. People young and old, artists and musicians and many who are inspired by such personalities frequent this gallery and add value to it. Today was another normal day where like minded people were at the Nairang premises when SHO Zulfiqar Ali of the Police Station, Shadman, Jail Road, opposite Kinnaird College walked in but not in normal condition i.e, found in a state of intoxication, while on duty committing a misconduct under Article 155(e) of the Police Order, 2002. His demeanor was noticed by many as one already agitated, hence, guilty of a misconduct of unbecoming of an officer and a gentlemen under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act,2006.

He proceeded into the café and approached a husband and wife couple, who are both lawyers and frequently have their lunch at the Gallery. The SHO objected to them sitting together at a table deeming it un-Islamic. The lawyers being lawyers responded well and brought to his notice that move was inappropriate, unlawful and uncalled for. After a short argument the SHO proceeded to move upstairs. His squad followed him all this time.

Upstairs in the Gallery, the curator Ms Amal Fatima (an accomplished graduate of the National College of Arts) and assisting staff approached the SHO to inquire about his visit since he was clearly on some mission. The SHO asked for whoever is responsible for the Gallery at the time and the curator Ms Amal nominated herself. Upon inquiring further about the SHO’s visit and his objections, he proceeded to do what we civilized people consider unthinkable – he continuously hit her while using abusive language at her, This was followed by him ordering his squad to prepare to arrest her for running a place of
“Fahaashi”! Then he objected to Ms Amal’s dress (kurta pajama) that she was wearing and started abusing her. The Gallery staff tried to protect her and as a result they too were beaten up until some staff and customers managed to distract the SHO and tried to cool him down. SHO’s own staff “quietly” suggested that Ms Amal be removed from the room quickly as the SHO is acting very strange today and may attack her again. Sir, the SHO was drunk. If not drunk, he was under the influence of something abnormal that made his eyes bloodshot and rolled up and him sweating profusely.

Sir, please note that people were present at the gallery and are willing to be witnesses, and some of the customers are female staff from the DCO’s office who were present at the time.

The Gallery is owned by myself as you probably know and I was not present there. My younger son Amir Ali Dada was present in the area and rushed to speak to the SHO who was by now calmly seated and wanted to know who the owner was. When informed of myself and the fact that I was on my way to speak to the SHO, he proceeded to leave the Gallery. When Amir asked, or rather requested him to stay until the owner arrives so that we can fully understand the idea behind the “raid”, the SHO again lost it and ordered his
crew to throw Amir in the back and take him to the Police Station and hang him upside down. Amir was quickly taken to the Police Station and removed from the Gallery - obviously using force.

I reached the Police Station along with some friends and staff and tried to reason with the SHO .After some deliberation and support of various people including other law enforcement officers who rightfully respect the venue and its ownership, the SHO was prepared to let Amir go. No case was registered – there was no case. We are thankful to many friends who supported us during this tough time specially some lawyers who personally arrived at the Police Station, and was able to witness firsthand the objectionable behavior of the SHO who misbehaved with them too. .

Sir, it is our request and our plea that this matter be pursued with appropriate action such that future law enforcement officers have a precedent to keep them in line and so that some parents who are living through this sickening episode can find some peace, and no such event takes place in the future.

In view of the above, I request the Honourable Chief Minister and the IGP to take action against the SHO under the Section 155 of the Police Order, 2002 and to initiate proceedings committing a misconduct under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act, 2006.

Thank you
Yours Sincerely,
Nayyar Ali Dada

Click here to read document by HRCP

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9 responses to “Police vandalism at Nairang Gallery Lahore

  1. This complaint letter is well written and Mr. Dada has been smart enough to include in all the clauses of the law that have been breached.

    I seriously hope that certain vicious people on the internet back off and stop the character assassination of the Curator. It’s time they learnt what their freedoms were and how many are taken away every single day when they refuse to reject such a despicable incident and others like it.

  2. Such brutal and humiliating display of the inhumane behavior is a mere reflection of the ugly face of this society. I feel ashamed and utterly disgusted of being a part of such a callous mob of “subjects”, we wrongly call “The Nation”. We are certainly heading toward the havoc we rightly deserve. .

  3. Pakistani Pardesi

    Shameful act on behalf of the police! These are public servants, and yet they are no different from their masters in defying every law of the land. I wouldnt be surprised if people take the law into their own hands when thugs like this exist. Brings shame on every Pakistani. This calls for a public apology from the Police Chief and the Chief Minister (if they get to take time away from their own personal antics!)

  4. Rao Abid Hamid

    It is most shocking and alarming to note that a number of days have passed and our beloved Chief Minister or IGP have shown no concern about the shameful raid on one of the most popular art gallery of Lahore. The gallery is run by world renowned architect Nayar Ali Dada. It is a matter of deep concern for all those in Pakistan who believe in propriety, progression, rule of law and enlightenment in their country.
    This attack on Nairang Gallery was vicious and evil. It can be harbinger of darkness and barbaric norms. We must stand up against it and ensure strong corrective measures are taken without delay.

  5. Pingback: Pakistan: Netizens Protest Moral Policing On Art Curator · Global Voices

  6. Pingback: Pakistan: Netizens Protest Moral Policing On Art Curator | Social Entrepreneur Guide

  7. Where were all the people who have made comments above on the 13th August protest against this incident ? Lahore is a city of well over 8 million people, on about 40-50 people showed up……SHAME ! were were the karta dhartas of the Human Rights Org., WAF, Civil Society, Where were all the owners of art galleries in Lahore ? where were the art students, professors ? Art lovers ? and WHY was Nayyer and the staff of Nairang not present….
    All these blog, email, FB, armchair protests are not going to make any difference…
    We a nation of ‘dead’ people…..let us take a leaf out of our neighbours book ,

  8. sheer stupidity on behalf of the people working for NGOs, art galleries, human rights bla bla. Interesting to note their arguments which are clearly written to give it an emotional touch and to gain sympathy. so what if she was a woman? a woman is un-touchable for her crimes?
    anyone who was there in the gallery can not be a witness to this case because his/her presence itself is evident that they accept moral declination propagated by the gallery. solution is simple just see who triggered the event; it was the gallery! by suggesting inappropriate content.

    no one has ever seen you liberals doing any real progressive work like helping flood victims or opening schools or providing medical assistance to the needy. Need i say more to prove that you people are traitors and traitors are punishable by death.

  9. THIS IS PAKISTAN

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