Copies of Dawn torched in Sindh cities
HYDERABAD: Dozens of bundles containing copies of Dawn were torched on Saturday in several cities where unidentified men attacked shops and at gunpoint intercepted vehicles carrying the newspaper to the interior of Sindh.
The first incident was reported early Saturday morning when a truck bringing Dawn copies from Karachi to Hyderabad was stopped on Jamshoro Road by gunmen riding a motorbike.
The gunmen sprinkled petrol on the copies and set them on fire before fleeing, while the truck driver, Musharraf, with the help of locals managed to extinguish the fire and resumed the journey.
However, the driver was once again intercepted by armed persons riding a motorcycle outside Rajputana Hospital where they torched newspaper copies and sped away. The driver raced to Pathan Colony where the fire was finally put out.
According to local Dawn contractor, Tahir Hussain Khan, 75 per cent of the copies were reduced to ashes.
The contractor and the driver then reported the incidents to the Bhitai Nagar police station.
SHO Mohammad Taqi Laskani said that the police were investigating the incidents and looking for the miscreants.
Sindh regional manager of Dawn Media Group Thadani L.S. said that 26 to 27 bundles of Dawn copies were completely burnt and Dawn readers were deprived of copies in Larkana, Sanghar, Tando Adam, Tando Allahyar, Badin, Talhar and other cities.
Meanwhile, Dawn copies were also snatched in the Landhi and Paposh areas of Karachi, Naseerabad, Larkana, Sakrand Bypass, Benazirabad and Qambar Ali Khan districts.
On the Sakrand bypass, five persons intercepted a rickshaw loaded with a newspapers bundle, snatched Dawn copies and fled.
Two armed men snatched one bundle of Dawn copies from a shop at Naseerabad, Larkana district. Copies were also snatched from a shop at Qambar.
Meanwhile, a leader of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) — recently banned by the government — Sajjad Shar spoke to the Hyderabad bureau in charge of Dawn, Mohammad Hussain Khan, and claimed the responsibility of burning Dawn copies. He also threatened another province-wide reaction.
Earlier on Friday evening, he had called Mr Khan to record his protest that news coverage of JSMM was being neglected by the paper.
The JSMM leader was informed that the party activities, particularly those related to the issue of missing persons, murder of party’s secretary general Muzaffar Bhutto and burning alive of five of its workers in Sanghar, had been covered in detail.
Mr Shar stated the JSMM was organising a Sindh-wide protest on various issues of the province but these activities were not covered. He said that if newspaper avoided covering JSMM news related activities the paper and its TV channel would not be allowed to work.