Nineteen members of staff Johnny & Jugnu in eastern Lahore were detained after refusing to give officers free burgers

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All members of staff at a restaurant in Pakistan were allegedly detained for seven hours after they refused to serve police officers free burgers.

Nineteen people working at the fast-food eatery Johnny & Jugnu, in eastern Lahore, were detained at 1am on Saturday and held overnight.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Johnny & Jugnu said a group of police officers had gone to the restaurant two days before the incident and had asked for free burgers.

When their request was rejected, officers threatened the managers and left, before coming back the following day to "harass" the team.

The statement reads: "Upon rejecting their request for free burgers, which has become a common practice for them, the police officers threatened our managers and left, only to return the next day to further harass and pressurise our teams… with baseless arguments."

The police officers visited the restaurant and asked to have free burgers
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Johnny & Jugnu claimed that the police officers went to the restaurant and arrested all staff while customers were waiting for their orders on June 11.

The statement continues: "[Officers] took our manager into custody, without giving any reason whatsoever.

"Then they emptied out our entire branch, taking all of our kitchen crew, including the rest of the managers."

The restaurant posted a statement on Facebook after the incident
(Image: Facebook)

The restaurant also said the staff was not allowed to close down the kitchen, leaving "fryers still running, customers waiting for their orders".

According to the statement, the team remained "locked up" for almost seven hours, while police "harassed" and "pushed" them for not giving them the free food.

The restaurant claimed the officers said they should have been given the free burgers as it was a "request from a very high profile special guest".

Customers were waiting for their meals when police arrived and arrested all staff
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Punjab Police said the nine officers involved in the incident have been suspended.

A spokesman for the Force said: "IG Punjab Inam Ghani have taken notice of the Johnny and Jugnu restaurant incident and have suspended the SHO Defence C and the staff of the police station involved.

"No one is allowed to take law into his own hands. Injustice will not be tolerated. All of them will be punished."

Saman Bashir, head of marketing for Johnny & Jugnu, said the incident had been upsetting for the team, but thanked authorities for suspending the officers involved.

She said: "We spoke out to the public about what happened, and within two hours maybe we had received a response from authorities.

"We're glad that people stood up to support us, that's the silver lining."