Abuzar Madhu, an artist from Pakistan was looking for a rickshaw at 3 AM when he was arrested by the Punjab Police, Lahore earlier this month.
The reason being? His hair was too long. Yep, this is why he spent a night in jail in Model Town police station.
Details of which, his friend Natasha Javed has shared on Twitter.
Last weekend, my friend Abuzar was picked up by Punjab Police in Lahore. He had to spend a night in Model town police station, in a lock up.— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
Reason: his long hair.
Abuzar who is an artist and a teacher was approached by the police when he was on the road.
Abuzar is an artist & a teacher. He was waiting for a Rickshaw near Kalma Chawk when a police van stopped him. They asked for his ID card, which luckily he had. He showed the ID card. The police officer then asked others to put him in the police van ‘Ainu Gaddi wich Pao’ pic.twitter.com/6Wu9Odk5L6— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
Reportedly, he even showed his documents when asked but was ‘forced’ to sit in the van. When he asked for the reason, he was told it was because of his ‘hulia, lambe baal‘ and also the fact that he was out on the road at 3 AM.
Abuzar asked the officer what the issue was. The officer continued to threaten and scare him by saying that he will find out the issue once he reaches the police station. That the issue was his ‘Hulia’/appearance, his ‘lambay Baal’ and that he is out on the street at 3 am.— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
His bag was checked at the station and he was made to spend the night there as they wanted to teach him a lesson for his hair and appearance.
Abuzar kept explaining that he is a teacher and an artist. However, The police harassment did not stop and they forced him to sit in the van and he was taken to the police station.— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
He reached out to people on Facebook for legal help before his phone was taken away. His friends could only reach to his rescue the next day. Although he is out now.
Abuzar is out & safe now. I don’t know how many people face harassment from the police everyday. The fear that the police could’ve easily taken a step further & even further if they wanted – is real. And that we sit here accepting it all is making me more furious.— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
‘Hair’ we are, so much time has passed and people are still suffering at the hands of police brutality and harassment.
Angered by the whole situation, Natasha spoke against people misusing their power.
To protect actually operating to threaten us?— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
Saifullah knew he can threaten Abuzar & get away with it. That this is some sort of twisted and fucked up power high. That he won’t face any consequences for bullying a citizen. That he is confirming the fear we have from the police.
You can find the whole thread here.
A few students of his along with others also came out in support of the artist.
I am a former student of Sir Abuzar. He was one of the kindest souls i have ever met. There is no justification to his arrest. This is bullshit, he did nothing wrong— aloo. (@RyaanRafi) June 7, 2021
Thanks for sharing. The fear of authority and power is so normal for a common man. It is this fear that inhibits free thinking and progress. Institutions and people need a course correction. Wonder how?— Nishmeet Singh (@NishmeetS) June 7, 2021
Omg this is horrifying so sorry your friend had to go through this.— Iffat Omar Official (@OmarIffat) June 7, 2021
I received this message in my inbox. The police and the state must stop hounding innocent people they think are easy targets. F your class privilege. F your misuse of power. pic.twitter.com/IamyHBn3e1— Natasha Javed (@natashajaved1) June 7, 2021
He came as a trainer to one of our trainings and what a guy he is. One of the most peaceful & unproblematic people i have ever met. What is wrong with our police???? https://t.co/gjKUzvgJog— Rabia Satti🇵🇰🇵🇸 (@motherofragnar) June 8, 2021
Matlab now we can’t even grow out our hair in this country https://t.co/TOTwZY0PXr— sidthesloth (@uncoolboii) June 7, 2021
Reason— Ammara (@greyswifaay) June 7, 2021
Long hair 😁
What the actual f https://t.co/TqNFrBRBcH
This is exactly the price common citizens pay for privilege of those who have power with no accountability #Highlycondemnable https://t.co/DqaeHgNpDz— Dr Humma Saif (@HummaSaif) June 7, 2021
Sigh, how dire are times.