A police officer in Pakistan’s Sindh was suspended after he tortured, harassed, manhandled and arrested Hindu shopkeepers for allegedly “violating the Ramadan Ordinance” by eating, Pakistan media reported.
In a video that went viral on social media, Kabil Bhayo, the SHO of Khanpur police station, was seen roaming the Ghotki district with a stick in his hand, using it to hit shopkeepers, including Hindu men, who were reportedly preparing biryani for delivery orders in the local market, Express Tribune reported.
“I swear that I belong to the Hindu community, and he is taking away food. We do not run the dining service indoors during Ramadan,” a man who was arrested by the police said.
However, the SHO publicly forced the Hindu restaurant owner to take an oath on his sacred book. The officer arrested more than one dozen people after physically assaulting them, Express Tribune reported.
After the video went viral, the Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) took notice of it and wrote to the DIG of Sukkur and SSP of Ghotki to take action against the police officer.
“The act is a violation of fundamental rights of citizens regardless of their religion and beliefs and goes against Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan, which guarantees the freedom to profess and manage religious institutions,” a letter issued by the SHRC stated.
It added that the SHO’s behaviour was against the landmark judgment by former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani on minority rights, issued on June 19, 2014.
It is pertinent to note that the Ramadan Ordinance states that only people who are obligated to fast under the tenants of Islam are barred from eating, drinking and smoking in public places during fasting hours in the month of Ramadan, Express Tribune reported.