ISLAMABAD: Police in the federal capital on Tuesday booked two unidentified men after taking notice of a Canada-based model and activist, known for her humanitarian work, being repeatedly harassed by two motorists earlier this week.
Asoomii Jay alias Assma Galuta, who had married a Pakistani man in 2018 and is currently visiting the country to raise awareness about social injustices including Islamophobia, said that she was in an area on the confluence of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Monday.
She was waiting for her cab to go home when two men pulled up in a car and started cat-calling her and repeatedly told her to get in their car. When she refused, they followed her cab for the next two hours as she travelled to her destination in Islamabad.
A video she made of the men showed them trying to intercept her car and asking the driver for her destination. She had posted the video on the internet and it went viral.
“I had to change my drop-off location and hide in the mall until [I] was sure they were gone and then I went to my Airbnb,” she wrote in her complaint.
Shaken by the ordeal and infuriated after some people started victim-blaming her, she stated in a video on Tuesday that she had complained about the incident to the police who only asked her to report the matter to a special phone number on which she received no response.
Then, on the suggestion of a follower, she posted a complaint on the Prime Minister’s Complaint Portal but that too did not yield a different result.
When contacted by Express News, Islamabad Operations-DIG Waqarud Din Syed said that he had no knowledge of the incident and asked to contact the concerned SP.
However, after the issue was televised on Express News, police officials sprang into action and SP Rural reached out to the victim and assured her that the suspects would soon be brought to book. He also directed the Sihala police station SHO to submit a detailed report within 48 hours.
Later, on Tuesday an Islamabad Police spokesperson said that IGP Amir Zulfiqar Khan also took notice of the incident and directed to arrest the culprits.
A first information report (FIR) of the incident was registered at Sihala police station with charges of attempting to illegally confine, criminally intimidate and assault.
While addressing a news conference in the federal capital on Tuesday, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi also commented on the issue. He stated that respecting guests and tourists was every Pakistani’s religious, ethical and moral obligation. He requested youngsters to uphold the honour of the country.
Meanwhile, police sources said that the car used by the suspects was registered to a Lahore resident and that their team will soon be sent to the Punjab capital to apprehend the suspects.
Asoomii thanked Express News for bringing the matter in the notice of authorities. She also prayed that the women of Pakistan get their voice heard and that their stories do not go unreported.