Baseless cases against journalists condemned -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Baseless cases against journalists condemned

By: Shahid Rao

RAWALPINDI — Media men on Sunday took out a protest rally on the Benazir Bhutto Road (BBR) against the City Police Officer (CPO) Rao Muhammad Iqbal Khan for implicating journalists in false cases in a bid to provide cover to his official negligence.

Media men also demanded of Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tariq Saleem Dogar to take notice of the incidents and dismiss CPO Rao Iqbal Khan immediately for gagging media or else the journalist community would agitate through out the province against “Police Gardi”.

The protest rally, jointly led by RIUJ Senior Vice President Khawar Nawaz Raja and Secretary General Nasir Mir while attended by scores of journalists belonging to print and electronic media started from Rawalpindi Islamabad Press Club (RIPC) and culminated on the BBR where the office bearers of the union addressed the participants.

On the occasion, Sunni Tehrik (ST) city Convenor Atta-ur-Rehman and Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazalur Rehman (JUI-F) spokesman Mufti Abdul Rehman along with their workers also joined the rally and condemned the negative tactics being used against journalists by CPO Rao Iqbal Khan.

The participants of the rally were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans “Acquit Baber Malik and News 1 TV Channel team from fake cases” “Dismiss CPO Rao Iqbal Khan for imposing curbs on media”, “Khadam-e-A’la take notice against disobedient CPO” and “Arrest the accused who robbed senior journalist Raja Atif”.

RIUJ office-bearers said that CPO Rao Iqbal involved journalists in bogus case in bid to bar media men to publish or air news against police. They said that police was not taking any action against the criminals who robbed several journalists in the city.
RIUJ office bearers demanded of CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and IG Tariq Saleem Dogar to take personal interest in these dishonourable acts of police otherwise, journalist community would take to the streets for their rights.

The tensions between CPO Rao Iqbal and media started when a crime reporter of a private TV channel aired news against police regarding kite flying in the city while a Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBR) Emergency Department’s doctors thrashed a news team of another TV channel that tried to unveil doctors’ negligence.

CM Punjab took notice of both the incidents and jeered at CPO Rao Iqbal. On this, the CPO Rao Iqbal ordered Police Stations (PSs) New Town and Waris Khan for registration of false cases against them.
Source: The Nation
Date:3/1/2010