LAHORE: A session court on Wednesday indicted 16 suspects in the case of assault on Tiktoker Ayesha Akram at the Minar-i-Pakistan.
The suspects including Amir Sohail alias Rambo, Arslan, Abid Ahmad and Iftikhar appeared before the court.
Additional District & Sessions Judge Ishrat Abbas directed the prosecution to produce its witnesses on the next hearing as all the suspects pleaded not guilty and decided to face the trial.
Lorry Adda had registered the FIR against 400 unidentified persons for assaulting the Tiktoker, molesting and stripping her clothes on the eve of August 14, 2021. The police later also arrested Ayesha’s team associate Rambo after she accused him of blackmailing.
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 had been included in the FIR.
Ayesha Akram narrates 2.5-hour nightmare at Minar-e-Pakistan
The female TikToker Ayesha Akram, narrated the nightmare which she faced. She...
In his media statements, Rambo claimed that it was the woman in fact who had been blackmailing him. He alleged that the Tiktoker implicated him in the FIR after he rejected her idea of minting money from the arrested persons for their release.
It is pertinent to mention here, multiple incidents of harassment against women were once again reported at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on the occasion of the country’s 75th Independence Day.
According to details, the police could not handle the situation due to a large number of men involved in the despicable act despite the fact that over 800 personnel were deputed at the national monument.
The men, who accompanied the women, also got into heated arguments with the harassers. At one point, clubs were used by them to disperse the mob.
However, the suspects managed to flee the scene before the police could catch them. Later, police also baton-charged those present at the Azadi Bridge.
This is not the first time such an incident happened at Minar-e-Pakistan. Last year, a female TikToker, along with her companions, was harassed and assaulted by a mob in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park.
The victim stated in her complaint lodged with the Lari Adda police station that she was filming a video near Minar-e-Pakistan along with her friends when a mob of around 400 people attacked them.
She alleged that the mob picked her up and started tossing her in the air. “I was stripped and my clothes were torn apart,” she said.
The incident has sparked outrage nationwide. Then prime minister Imran Khan, while taking notice of the incident, spoke with Punjab IGP about it.
Then human rights minister Shireen Mazari also condemned the assault and harassment. “We need to try and change such violent behavioural patterns in our people,” she remarked.
Mazari also urged “effective implementation” of laws to have “some deterrent effect” on people’s behaviour.
However, she maintained that the main challenge was changing the ‘mindset’ of the people to stop crimes against “all vulnerable members of our society”.