LAHORE, Pakistan – A local police chief and four officers were arrested Wednesday in central Pakistan after a video allegedly showed one officer publicly beating suspects with a fat leather strap as the other officers held down the victims.
The footage captured with a cell phone camera from a nearby house was shown repeatedly on several local television stations, sparking anger in a country where police are routinely accused of corruption and abuse.
The police chief in the small town of Bhuwana in Punjab province allegedly ordered the officers to beat three men in the police station's open courtyard after becoming furious that relatives had complained the men had been falsely accused of robbery, said Fayaz Sumbal, the police chief of the surrounding district.
The Bhuwana police chief and the other four officers have been jailed and will be tried on torture charges, said Sumbal.
Punjab's law minister, Rana Sanaullah, assured Pakistanis in an interview with Dunya television that appropriate legal action was being taken and the officers "will not remain in the police force."