Policeman taken into custody after attack prompts outrage on social media.
Police in Sindh province have arrested a fellow officer after he was accused of beating up an elderly Hindu man for not fasting during Ramzan, an incident that sparked a social media outcry.
The elderly man was pictured bloodied after the attack which reportedly took place in Ghotki district of Sindh on Saturday just before sunset. The images were widely shared over the weekend.
Activists and outraged Pakistanis using the hashtag #JusticeforGokalDas called for the officer who allegedly attacked him to be arrested. “Religion doesn’t mean forced fasting & terrorizing the weak. Shame on those who did this,” tweeted one user. “Deplorable! Non-Muslims should be allowed to eat food anytime they want. Stop terrorizing them,” said another.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of slain prime minister Benazir, later tweeted that the police officer had been taken into custody. Local police confirmed the arrest and told AFP an inquiry was being conducted.
“Strict action will be taken against the police official and a senior police officer will go to meet the victim and seek an apology to give a better image of the police to the public,” a statement said.
Eating or drinking in daylight hours during Ramzan is a crime for Muslims in Pakistan. They can be fined or even jailed for up to three months. The restrictions do not apply to other religions.
Ramzan is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar and Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day during the whole month.