Lahore Bar condemns beating of newsman
LAHORE – The Lahore High Court Bar Association on December 8, condemned the Civil Secretariat police for physically assaulting senior journalist Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui on November 30 and demanded a judicial inquiry into the “ghastly” incident.
In a press statement, bar president Ahmad Awais, vice-president Syed Zulfiqar Ali Bokhari, secretary Azam Nazir Tarar and finance secretary Sarfraz Ali said that the incident could not be seen in isolation but as a calculated attack on press freedom and the right to expression as guaranteed by the constitution.
They said the policemen responsible for torturing the journalist should be punished in accordance with the law in the light of the judicial probe. They also condemned the incident as a crime against human dignity. It may be mentioned here that authorities concerned have yet to take any action against the DSP and his subordinates who were involved in torturing the newsman.
Two constables in uniform and 10 other plainclothesmen had abruptly seized and thrashed Dawn reporter Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui at the secretariat main gate when he tried to enter the premises along with another reporter of another English daily, Anwar Husain Sumra.
According to S&GAD additional secretary (welfare) and DSP (security) Yar Muhammad Dogar, the entry of the Dawn staffer was banned by the chief secretary for having published a news story on the extortion of money from visitors by the policemen at the secretariat during Ramazan.