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Rangers’ highhandedness


SOCIAL media is abuzz with a video of a motorcyclist being roughed up by Rangers’ personnel on a busy road in Karachi. The footage shows a speeding Rangers van knocking down the motorcyclist before a couple of uniformed men kick him and beat him with sticks.

Why the motorcyclist was beaten so savagely is still not clear, but this act of brutality appear to be in step with our law enforcers’ penchant for violence and haughty attitude towards the general public.

It is also being said that the motorcyclist may have been a suspected mugger, prompting the Rangers to apprehend him on the street as he endeavored to escape.

But even if it’s true, the Rangers’ callous action—beating an unarmed man in front of hundreds of people—is unwarranted and deplorable. The episode shows the officials’ highhandedness because they have been conditioned to believe that in Pakistan they are beyond the pale of the law even if they have committed unforgivable crimes.

This ugly act harks back to another violent episode a decade ago when the Rangers shot and killed an innocent man in a public park in full view of the camera. Though the media extensively highlighted the issue, sparking public ire, the convicted were eventually pardoned by the president after reports that the victim’s family had reached an out-of-court settlement.

These incidents demonstrate, once again, that law enforcement officials need to behave with the reverence and professionalism their job entails. Subjecting unarmed people to torture in the streets, even if they are hardened criminals, only underlines a dysfunctional justice system that condones rage and revulsion.

The Rangers’ higher-ups must account for the reprehensible action, ensuring that such deplorable episodes do not recur in the future. Incidents like this simply deepen people’s sense of alienation with the law enforcement agencies and run counter to the former’s objective of eliminating crime and terror from society.

In fact, such acts only perpetuate violent tendencies in society, forcing the ordinary citizens to mimic violent behavior and fan lawlessness.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.


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