The Express Tribune's reporter beaten, suspects traced but police turn away -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

The Express Tribune’s reporter beaten, suspects traced but police turn away

KARACHI: The Tipu Sultan police were named after a fighter but proved to be lilly-livered cowards and possibly corrupt officers on Thursday. We gave them all the details of the men who we believe attacked our reporter, kicking him in the ribs and beating him in the head on Baloch Colony flyover. We accompanied them to the suspects’ house, after six hours of wrangling, pushing, pleading, making phone calls. They stood around for a bit and then left. They said that no one was at home.

We were left holding the FIR, knowing that the police had tipped them off. How do we know this? Because the constables we travelled with at the back of the police mobile told us so.

On Thursday, The Express Tribune’s Noman Ahmed was attacked by four men in a silver Toyota Corolla with registration number AVZ 163, registered to Chaudhry Mohammad Shareef, who lives at House No. 430, Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Road in Manzoor Colony.

Shareef is the former nazim of UC 2 in Manzoor Colony and is better known as Gujjar.

The four men in the silver car included a 60-something man in the passenger seat. They cornered Noman’s motorcycle against the boundary wall. Two younger men got out from the back seat and fell upon Noman right at The City School PAF Chapter. The driver joined in. Their parting words to the reporter were to “Ainda khayal rakhna, hum chorenge nahi”.

“They kicked me and punched me around the head and face. I fell,” said Noman. “There were people watching too. It was very embarrassing.” No one came to help him.

At Tipu Sultan police station, which is a shipping container located in an empty plot full of garbage, they registered an initial complaint. Noman was taken to JPMC where he was X-rayed and checked by the thoracic doctors. With the medico-legal report in hand, he returned to the police station and registered the FIR.

The FIR, No 301, was registered under sections 337a, 427/34, 506/b for threatening someone with death or grievious hurt, injuries and causing mischief.

That’s when the phone calls started coming in. Saleem Zia from the Pakistan Muslim League-N told Noman that, “Shareef was in the party till 2008 before he jumped ship to the […]“. Further phone calls revealed that Shareef allied himself to the Jamaat-e-Islami and won from its platform to become the UC nazim. Today Shareef is known to be close to a minister who recently resigned. He is linked to SHOs in the police as well.

At 10:45pm when Noman and two colleagues went with the Tipu Sultan and Baloch Colony police to the house, nobody opened the door and the police were ready to leave, saying no one was at home. However, a young boy came out of the house, making it clear that there were people inside.

A man who claimed to be Shareef’s son-in-law introduced himself as the joint secretary of the Sunni Tehreek. He was sitting outside with a group of young men. The police refused to do anything and came away. They said that since there was a strike on Friday (today), they would not do anything.

Initially it was not clear why the police took so long to take action. At this newspaper we fail to understand that when clear suspects have emerged why was nothing done? What more proof did the police need? And an FIR requires the force to take action. What are the police there for after all? If this is what happens to journalists, who understand the system, imagine how the police serve the average citizen.

The Express Tribune