KARACHI: An officer in-charge of Pirabad police station in Orangi Town locality here was attacked by a mob after authorities tried to restrict Friday congregational prayers.
Although, April 10 was the third Friday after the Sindh government imposed a lockdown in view of the coronavirus outbreak, many people still insisted on offering the Friday congregational prayers and violated the government's directives that have restricted the maximum number of worshippers at the mosques to five, The Express Tribune reported.
Sharafat Khan, female SHO of the Pirabad police, reached the Haqqani Mosque in Frontier Colony after being informed that people were gathering there to offer Friday prayers, in violation of the restrictions.
When she asked the people present at the mosque to pray at home, a group of individuals, enraged by the police action, began pelting her with stones. The police officer received minor injuries during the scuffle.
A video, now viral on social media, shows a large crowd exiting the mosque as some individuals engaged in a heated argument with the SHO, who bears a bleeding nose.
"You people have attacked me and also damaged my glasses. A case will be lodged against you," Khan can be heard saying in the video.
After more police officials reached the spot, the SHO instructed them to make videos of all those present in order to initiate action against them.
Khan, appointed as the SHO of the Pirabad Police Station 10 days ago, has a reputation of bravery and outstanding performance.
Taking notice of the incident, a judicial magistrate directed the West DIG to take action against the culprits.
The police have registered a case against the mosque administration and unidentified men, under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act as well as charges, including attempted murder and vandalism.
In most areas of the province, the Sindh government's orders of a complete lockdown from noon to 3 pm on Fridays were strictly enforced.
Utility stores, pharmacies and other shops selling essential goods - normally exempted from the lockdown - also remained closed during this time.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 4,793 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.
The tally in Punjab was the highest with 2,336 cases and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan reported 656 and 220 cases, respectively.