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ASP Shehrbano speaks up over Lahore Ichra incident

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News Stories Posted by ARY News Digital Team

Gulberg Circle Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shehrbano Naqvi is being hailed as a hero after she saved a young woman wearing a dress with Arabic calligraphy printed on it from a mob attack in Lahore’s Ichra Bazar.  

A day earlier, a charged mob gathered outside a shop in Lahore’s Ichra Bazaar after someone alleged that a woman’s shirt had Quranic verses printed on it. The woman, who was accompanied by her husband, sought refuge in a nearby shop.

As per eyewitnesses, most of the people in the mob were either customers, visitors or passersby. The garment traders – who gave shelter to woman – were aware of the calligraphy print being available in the market. But despite the traders’ explanation, the angry mob insisted on a “blasphemy” charge.

The woman’s dress had the word “Halwa” printed in Arabic letters on it, meaning “beautiful or sweet” in Arabic.

Upon receiving information about the incident, the Punjab Police — led by ASP Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi — arrived at the scene and took the woman into their custody, saving her from the charged crowd.

A video clip, now went viral on social media, showed the girl hiding in a shop and shivering with fear. In a video shared by the Punjab police on X, the ASP could be seen rescuing the woman from the bazaar while a mob hurled abuses in the background.

Another video showed her addressing the mob, urging them to trust the police while convincing them that no blasphemous act had been committed.

Talking to ARY News exclusively, ASP Shehrbano Naqvi provided details on how the incident unfolded. “At 1:30pm, we received a call that a blasphemous act took place in Ichra market,” she said, adding that the caller mentioned that a woman was wearing a ‘inappropriate dress’ with calligraphy seemed to be Quranic verses.

Upon arriving at the scene, the female police officer said, a charged mob had gathered around the shop where the woman was. “There, it emerged that the woman was very scared and the mob was religiously charged,” she said.

“It was a critical moment. I had to act swiftly to ensure the safety of the woman and prevent any harm from coming to her,” Shehrbano stated, emphasising the urgency of the situation.

The police official further stated that the calligraphy on the woman’s clothes did not bear Quranic verses. “It was a tense situation, but we had to maintain control and ensure the safety of everyone involved,” she added.

Her decisive actions have garnered widespread praise, with the chief of Punjab Police Dr Usman Anwar advocating for her to be honoured with an award for her exemplary courage.

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