The arrest comes after a video of the incident was widely shared on social media, in which two women, who appeared to be foreign tourists, were seen encircled by men and trying to make their way out of the crowd. The men could be heard passing comments, apparently directed at the women, and asking each other to move aside. Some men could also be seen filming the women using their mobile phones.
The first information report (FIR) of the incident, available with Dawn.com, was registered at the Aabpara police station on Monday (August 15). It said that a group of men harassed and disrespected foreign women on Independence Day. Subsequently, a case against unidentified men was registered under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 147 (Punishment for rioting), and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
In a statement issued today, the police said that four suspects, identified as Sajjad Ahmed, Adeel Karim, Riaz Khan, and Zakirullah, hailed from Taxila. “We have seized the video of the incident from the suspects,” the Islamabad police spokesperson told Dawn.com, adding that the men were identified with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority.
He added that further investigations were underway. Earlier in the day, Islamabad IGP (Inspector General of Police) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan had taken strict notice of the incident, after which a probe was initiated in the case. In a tweet, the police had called the incident “unfortunate” and a “criminal act”, adding that people from all walks of life needed to “strongly condemn” it.