Social activist, Erum Rasheed, who was arrested during a protest a few weeks ago in Haripur, has claimed that she was stripped naked in Mardan jail by an intoxicated man at the behest of the Haripur District Police Officer.
Erum, who was released on Wednesday from Mardan jail after the Peshawar High Court, annulled her detention under the maintenance of public order (MPO-3).
In a video message after her release, the social activist said that a man wearing white clothes showed up in her cell and told her he has been sent by the DPO to strip her naked and send the video to so him so that she returned to the United States.
Erum claimed that young detainees with her were also stripped naked and assaulted.
She said that a detainee, Zaheer Khan, was beaten so much that he could not stand on his legs.
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The social activist, who is also a US citizen, said that she was kept in a dungeon in Mardan jail and warned her against raising her voice for the poor people to avoid facing a situation in the future.
The social activist accused the Haripur deputy commissioner and the DPO of siding with the corrupt mafia.
She alleged that the deputy commissioner kept pressuring her to sign an apology letter.
In the video message, Erum said that she and her family have received threats from the Haripur district police and the police will be responsible if anything happened to her or her family.
She asked the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Inspector-General and Hazara division DIG to provide justice and protect the women in the region.
The activist alleged that she and other protesters were also assaulted at Ghazi police station and the staff filmed them after forcing them to chant in favour of Haripur DPO while beating drums.
She said that the police officials told them they have to send the videos to the DPO.
The activist said that raising her voice for the poor people has become her crime as she has no criminal record.
Erum claimed that her medical examination showed clear assault marks on her body.
She accused the Ghazi police of sending her videos to different people to intimidate her.
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She announced to take to the streets again for the sake of the poor people.
Erum said that politicians seek votes from the poor people but do not come out of their homes for their rights. She urged the locals of the Ghazi area to protest on the roads again for their rights.
She vowed not to step back, saying that nothing left after what the Ghazi police had done with her.
Meanwhile, Haripur Deputy Commissioner Mughis Sannaullah and DPO Kashif Zulfiqar have rejected the allegation levelled by the social activist.
Both the officials said that the police had arrested the protesters under MPO-3 to maintain law and order. They said that patients in the ambulance had to face difficulty because of the sit-in and the road closure. According to DPO Kashif Zulfiqar, the major objective of the police was to keep the law and order situation in check and they will do so in the future.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2021.