'Pak Hindu man beaten for eating before iftaar being coerced'

The incident had triggered a social media campaign that led to the arrest of the cop and his brother.

Islamabad: An 85-year-old Hindu man in Pakistan, who was badly beaten by a police constable and his brother for allegedly eating food before iftaar, is being coerced through a Hindu Panchayat by the accused to "forgive and forget" and let them off, a media report said on Saturday.

The accused, who are in police custody, are trying to resolve the issue through the Panchayat (a council of local elders) and sending their representatives to the family of victim Gokal Das to settle the issue out of court.

The victim and his family, however, are not ready to oblige, The Express Tribune reported.

At least 20 persons representing the accused visited Das and tried to persuade him to settle the matter out of court, Das' son Gobind Ram said, according to the report.

These people were informed that the victim might have pardoned them if they had come earlier. "But, now it is too late because a case has already been registered. Let the law take its course," Ram said.

"The local Superintendent of Police (Masood Bangash) is taking a special interest in this case. He has assured us that justice will prevail," he said.

Das was badly beaten up by constable Ali Hassan Haidrani and his brother in the remote village of Hayat Pitafi in Ghotki district of the southern Sindh province where he was eating food before iftaar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

He was having a plate of biryani he had got from someone as alms.

The incident had triggered a social media campaign that led to the arrest of the cop and his brother.

Das was taken to a hospital for treatment as he was bleeding. The pictures of the incident showing Das with a injured hand and blood stained shirt were widely circulated on social media.

Social and civil rights activists and even ordinary citizens criticised the intolerance exhibited by the police in the month of Ramadan, which started on June 7 and called for giving him proper punishment. It prompted the government to take quick action and arrest the police constable and his brother.

Currently, Haidrani and his brother are in police custody under a 13-day remand.