30 Additional Suspects Arrested In Lieu Of Minar-E-Pakistan Assault Case

On Sunday, a judicial magistrate in the city of Lahore arrested 30 more suspects, after identifying them as being involved in the harassment and assault of Ayesha Akram, a TikToker. The victim and her team members were attacked at the Greater Iqbal Park in the city on the 14th of August, Independence Day. 

On Saturday, the police had already taken in 36 more suspects, who were found to be involved in the assault and harassment. 

Strict security arrangements were made to produce these 30 suspects in front of the court on Sunday. Their faces were covered, and they were transported to the district courts by way of a prison van. The investigation officers received permission from the court to carry out the identification parade of the arrested suspects to find the culprits involved. He further informed the magistrate that the identification of the suspects would be left onto the complainant, who would personally come to jail to do so. 

The court granted permission to the relevant authorities to transport the suspects to judicial lockup for a total of 14 days. The jail authorities were instructed to make preparations for the parade. 

The judicial magistrate had sent 40 more suspects believed to be involved in the incident. On Saturday, they had all been taken to jail for the same reason.

Some of the people suspected to have been responsible for the assault and harassment of Ayesha Akram claimed that they had been invited for a meet and greet. They spoke before the court and alleged at the hearing held on Saturday that she had asked them to come to Minar-e-Pakistan, in order to make videos. They requested that the judge instruct the police to bring in the TikToker, as well as her team, to talk about the facts related to the incident. 

The families of some of the suspects showed up outside court as well, claiming that their sons were being wrongly accused and arrested.

Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, the Lahore Capital City Police Officer, stated that the police had managed to geo-fence 28,000 people. They had consequently shortlisted 350 suspects, to question them, regarding their involvement in the case. 

A representative of the Punjab government revealed that up until now, around 100 arrests have been made. Police had previously filed the First Information Report (FIR) against 400 unidentified individuals for molesting and assaulting the complainant, as well as stripping her. 

Several sections of the Pakistan Penal Code were included in the FIR, such as 354-A, 382, 147, and 149. 

The incident on the 14th of August started out when hundreds of youngsters showed up to celebrate Independence Day at the Iqbal Park. Police decided to step in and take action on Tuesday, soon after various videos of the episode went viral online. They also sparked an outrage on various social media platforms. 

As per the FIR, the complainant has stated that she and her team, which included six men, were shooting a video at Minar-e-Pakistan on that day when no less than 300 to 400 men attacked all of them.