Not a single Pakistani expected to wake up to another sad news of a woman being subjected to brutal harassment by a mob of men that also in the month we celebrate independence but that is exactly what Pakistanis witnessed.
In a horrific incident, Ayesha Akram was publicly humiliated harassed and robbed at Minar-e-Pakistan by around 400 men. She was filmed, continuously attacked by the mob in clear daylight and no one tried to rescue her.
The video of Ayesha being insulted, assaulted, and harassed went viral on social media. The sad and alarming part is it happened on the day of Pakistan’s Independence. But how it all started?
Who is Ayesha Akram?
Ayesha Akram is a well-known TikToker who resides in Lahore. She makes videos on TikTok and that’s how she got famous. Akram went to Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park on Independence Day along with her six friends.
She was filming and taking selfies with her companions when the horrific incident happened. The video has spread like fire on social media and just after three days of the incident, everyone is raising security concerns about women.
According to the First Information Report (FIR) registered at the Lorry Adda police station by Ayesha Akram, she along with her six companions were filming a video near Minar-e-Pakistan when around 300 to 400 people attacked them.
In the complain, Ayesha stated that the crowd was huge and people were scaling the enclosure and coming towards her. Men kept pushing and pulling Ayesha to the extent that they ripped off her clothes. According to Ayesha, several people tried to help her escape the mob, however, the crowd was ‘too huge’ and they kept throwing her into the air.
The FIR has been registered under Sections 354 A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft), 147 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
In this regard, Lahore DIG (Operations) Sajid Kiywani has ordered the superintendent of police (SP) to take “immediate legal action” against the suspects involved in the incident.
Who is responsible?
After the horrific incident, many people continued the blame game of accusing the victim and her excessive use of TikTok. Pakistan has been banning and restoring the TikTok application, a much popular in Pakistan with over 39 million downloads since 2019 over accusations that the platform spreads ‘immorality’ and ‘obscenity’.
Some of the users believed the people attacked her because they thought as a TikTooker, she should be treated the same way. Some of them advised Ayesha should have not gone to public places on the first place. Some people also commented that people get what they show, the same happened with her, Ayesha entertained on TikTok, citizens expect the same in real and many citizens expressed anger over the actions of the men in the video.
Many agreed and demanded a public execution for such a heinous crime so that girls could feel safe to some level. Similar incidents have been happening in Pakistan since last month, following the murders of Noor Mukadam in July.
PM Imran Khan’s stance
Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the incident, while contacting IG Punjab, ordered the immediate arrest of the culprits.
The prime minister contacted the Inspector General of Police Punjab on the incident of indecent assault on a woman in Lahore and ordered the immediate arrest of the accused.
Other politicians’ condemnation
According to Bilawal Bhutto, the assault of young women by a mob at Minar-e-Pakistan should shame every Pakistani. “It speaks to rot in our society,” he posted.
The assault of a young women by a mob at #minarepakistan should shame every Pakistani. It speaks to a rot in our society. Those responsible must be brought to justice. The women of Pakistan feel insecure and it is all our responsibility to ensure safety and equal rights to all.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) August 18, 2021
Shireen Mazari condemned that certainly effective implementation of our laws will have some deterrent effect but mindsets also have to change to stop crimes against all vulnerable members of our society.
MoHR is in touch with Punjab authorities to ensure strict action ag perpetrators of the condemnable attack on a woman in Greater Iqbal Park Lahore. Arrests made, FIRs done. MoHR following up. But we need to try & change such violent behavioral patterns in our ppl. #lahoreincident
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) August 18, 2021
Demands of celebrities
Singer Asim Azhar has expressed that he is feeling angry and ashamed to be a man and everyone else should.
Mahira Khan, in shock, posted two stories and condemned the act.
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also came forward and slammed all those trying to justify, defend or downplay the horrific incident at Minare-e-Pakistan.
All those trying to justify, defend or downplay the horrific incident at #MinareEPakistan will be blocked. No time for paid trolls trying to project an image of safety when women are being raped from motorways to historical sights to graveyards
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) August 18, 2021