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
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.
Nayyar Ali Dada