A Hindu man aged over 80 years was beaten up by a police constable in Pakistan for allegedly eating and selling food before iftaar, triggering a social media campaign that led to the arrest of the cop.
Gokal Das was badly beaten up by constable Ali Hussain in the remote village of Hayat Pitafi in Ghotki district of the southern Sindh province where he was selling food before iftaar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.
Hussain claimed he also saw him eating a banana. Bachal Qazi, the Station House Officer of the Jawar police station in whose jurisdiction the village falls said that the constable and his brother “threw the old man on the ground and beat him badly before people rescued him.”
Das was later taken to a hospital for treatment as he was bleeding. The pictures of the incident showing Das with a injured hand and blood stained shirt were widely circulated on social media.
Following the publication of the pictures, a social media campaign was launched calling for justice for the old man.
Social and civil rights activists and even ordinary citizens criticised the intolerance exhibited by the police in the month of Ramadan, which started on June 7 and called for giving him proper punishment.
It prompted the government to take quick action and arrest the police constable and his brother. Qazi said that the IG Sindh police ordered the arrest of the constable after that.
A sizeable number of Hindus live in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari, whose Pakistan Peoples Party is in power in Sindh, took to social media to announce the arrest of the cop.
“The policeman has been arrested,” she tweeted. Dawn reported an FIR had been registered in Jarwar police station against the policeman for assaulting the senior citizen.