Probe launched against police ASI for ‘manhandling’ foreign cyclist in Punjab

“ASI slapped foreign cyclist when they sprayed on him,” police spokesperson says

A representational image of two Pakistani cyclists Najeeb Ullah (right) and Hanzala during the Tour de Khunjerab, one of the worlds highest altitude cycling competitions, at the Pakistan-China Khunjerab border. — AFP/File
A representational image of two Pakistani cyclists Najeeb Ullah (right) and Hanzala during the Tour de Khunjerab, one of the world’s highest altitude cycling competitions, at the Pakistan-China Khunjerab border. — AFP/File 
  • Police have launched inquiry into incident: spox.  
  • Says incident occured after they refused security.
  • One of cyclists has left Pakistan, confirm police.  

RAHIM YAR KHAN: The Punjab police Monday launched investigations against an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) for allegedly torturing and misbehaving with three international cyclists from Italy, England and Iran — including a woman — in Sadiqabad.

The incident took place on Saturday when the international tourists — Charlie West from the United Kingdom, Alex Sidney from Italy, and Motahira from Iran who were cycling from Sindh to Punjab — reached Sadiqabad.

Short video clips of a police officer slapping a woman cyclist are making rounds on social media.

In one of the footage, the police officer, later identified as ASI Liaqat, can be seen reprimanding the woman tourist and asking her to get up in anger.

The police officer turned fierce when she refused to do that. She says: “I want to sit here.” The policeman abruptly snatched the camera from her while the sound of slaps is heard.

In another video, the male cyclist is heard saying: “I want my camera back. This is unwarranted assault. I am calling my Italian Embassy […].”

The sportswoman said, “I want to know why he grabbed his hair. All these people saw it. He grabbed his hair. It’s not good for you.”

Responding to the incident, a spokesperson of the Punjab police said that a probe has been launched against ASI Liaqat, adding that action would be taken against him if he is found guilty in the investigation.

He added that the cyclists were provided security as per the SOP when they entered Rahim Yar Khan from Sindh. The incident happened after a heated argument as they refused the security, the police added.

“The ASI slapped the foreign cyclist when they sprayed on him,” the spokesperson said.

Two of the three cyclists were still staying at a private hotel in Sadiqabad, the police official said, adding that one of them had left the country.

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