Judicial inquiry ordered into journalists' torture -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Judicial inquiry ordered into journalists’ torture

Shakeel Anjum

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad Amer Ahmed Ali has ordered a judicial inquiry into the torture of journalists by police and security personnel of Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), saying the inquiry would be completed in 48 hours.

The unfortunate incident occurred in the premises of ZTBL when the security staff and other officials of the bank tortured senior journalists and cameramen of private TV channels while they were performing their professional duties.

The Aabpara police, however, have arrested Senior Security Officer (SSO) Qazi Manzoor Alam, Managing Director (MD), Kisan Support Department Anjum Javaid, Director Law Muhammad Masood Khan, President Staff Union Ghulam Muhammad, Vice President Imran, Press Secretary Waseem, and Security Supervisor Hafeez for their involvement in the torture episode, police sources said.

He termed this incident very sad and said a First Information Report (FIR) will be registered against the perpetrators while judicial inquiry into the matter would be completed within 48 hours. He said the recommendations of the inquiry would be shared and those who became victims of this incident could lodge their statement before the inquiry commission.

“This action of torture is totally unwarranted and this is a very sad incident,” Deputy Commissioner. The Judicial Inquiry will determine where the lapse occurred, and whether it was the fault of the administration of the organisation, Islamabad Police or Magistrate.

The DC said that the action was not legally sanctioned and those responsible for it would be brought to justice. According to the information collected from different sources, two journalists, including Shafqat Ali, a journalist from Sama TV and Khalid Mehmood, a cameraman of Dawn TV, sustained injuries during the manhandling in which two cops from the Anti Riot Unit (ARU) were injured too. Bank sources claimed four employees of the bank sustained minor injuries when the police resorted to baton charge.

Online adds: Reporter Wasim Malik and Cameraman Liaqat Abbasi from Samaa TV and Reporter Sammar Abbas and Chief Cameraman Asif Mirza from Dawn TV were taken captive by the ZTBL admin for covering EOBI’s raid on the ZTBL.

The administration of ZTBL manhandled them, ripped their clothes, broke their cameras and mobile phones. APP adds: Prime Minister Gilani took serious note of the manhandling of media personnel and has directed the Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan to hold an inquiry and take strict action against those responsible for this unpleasant incident, a PM House statement said. Later, talking to newsmen, Dr Firdous said that cases would be lodged against ZTBL employees and policemen, who attacked the newsmen, a private news channel reported. She said that healthcare facilities would be provided to injured journalists. She also promised that compensation would be paid to journalists for the loss incurred by them in the incident.
Source: The News
Date:4/28/2011