The recent disturbing incident that unfolded in Quetta, where police officers were captured on a viral video subjecting civilian men to brutal beatings, is an alarming reminder of the imperative need to safeguard justice and fairness within our law enforcement agencies. While tackling issues such as electricity theft is undoubtedly important, it should always be executed through legal channels and due process without resorting to violence and cruelty.
This episode brings to light the urgent necessity for systemic reforms in how such situations are handled. Our police force must embody the role of law guardians rather than becoming perpetrators of violence. It is indeed commendable that Commissioner Quetta Division, Muhammad Hamza Shafqaat, has taken notice of the incident and initiated disciplinary actions. However, this incident should serve as a clarion call for broader reforms to ensure that such reprehensible events never repeat themselves.
In the incident in question, a man faced brutal torture at the hands of local police during an operation targeting individuals with unpaid bills and those involved in power theft. Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) had initiated an operation against bill defaulters in the city, but it took a deeply unsettling turn when the police subjected a man who owed Rs.20,000 in unpaid bills to a severe assault.
The shocking viral video captures the moment when the police instructed the man to sit in a mobile van, which swiftly escalated into a heated verbal dispute. This confrontation rapidly turned physical, with the police resorting to excessive force. The video chillingly shows one of the officers striking the man with a rifle. However, the police have yet to issue any clarification or statement regarding this grave matter.
Commissioner Quetta, Hamza Shafqaat, has displayed commendable promptness in addressing this incident by suspending the Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and constable involved and relocating them to the quarter guard. He has further declared that an inquiry is underway and disciplinary measures are being taken. It is heartening to hear that this decisive action was taken in response to a case of electricity theft at QESCO’s request. Commissioner Shafqaat has also issued a public apology on behalf of the government, acknowledging that such an incident should never have occurred and pledging to ensure its prevention in the future.