“He was not a thief but an innocent and mentally disabled person. He can’t do this (Robbery). But police held him and did not inform us. They tortured Salahuddin and killed him brutally”. These were the words of Salahuddin’s uncle after his burial.
#iamSalahuddin is trending on Twitter as public to stand with Salahuddin who was known as an ATM thief. Salahuddin was killed during Bahawalpur police’s interrogation after being accused and arrested for ATM robbery.
Frustration levels are running high as the public has too much of Police’s incompetence and brutality. Many came with a new way of protest. They start taking a selfie with sticking tongue into cameras installed in ATM booths. This is the way to show solidarity with Salahuddin who was found Sticking tongue into the security camera in an ATM booth before stripping off the ATM machine’s cover.
A Twitter user Hassan Niazi posted a video message on Twitter saying ” IG Arif Please torture me as well. Then make funny videos of me and embrace me in front of the whole world. Then say I was Taliban because I have a beard. Call me terrorist and kill me in your study. But remember I am #Salahuddin”.
Another Twitter user @Awaixjaved wrote ” We want police reforms which were promised by the current government, we can’t let police kill more Salahuddin, we have to raise our voice. #IamSalahuddin”. @Sarimrashid wrote “The POLICE TORTURE MUST END. Imran Khan must end his talk strategy and action must start. Do Nahi Aik Pakistan is still a dream. #IamSalahuddin”.
Along these few, hundreds of Pakistanis following the trend to show support to the justice for Salahuddin.
Since decades, Punjab Police is involved in hundreds of Extra-judicial murders and corrupt practices. But not a single government tried to bring reforms in Police. Imran Khan, Now the prime minister of Pakistan has promised during his election campaign that he will bring reforms in Punjab Police as he did in KPK province during his previous tenure in the provincial government.
But it seems he has forgotten his promise or like other politicians, Imran Khan also said this as a Heat of speech to get support in General Election 2018. Most of PTI supporters now after the murder of Salahuddin, started to believe that Khan has disappointed them in his most important promise of correcting police system. Because 8 months ago another incident happened in Sahiwal in which a whole family was killed by police. And at that time Imran Khan has promised to hold the responsible police officers for fair trails and start a major reform process in Punjab Police.
During at months we never saw A single culprit executed from those who were involved in the killing of that family. Not a single step was taken to change the policing. Incidents like “Salahuddin and Sahiwal’s Family” are those which came into light because of social media but there could be hundreds like these which never come into headlines.
Will Pakistani people be able to push Imran Khan and his government to reform Punjab police? Or this incident will also be forgotten like many in the pasts. Time and effort of people will answer this question.