The News reporter records statement -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

The News reporter records statement

ISLAMABAD: Shakeel Anjum, the senior crimes correspondent of The News, who was implicated in a triple murder case by the Station House Officer (SHO) of Shehzad Town police station, Inspector Idrees Rathore, on Sunday appeared before the joint inquiry team to record his statement. The team led by Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Moin Masood and comprising Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kamran Aadil, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Legal, Muhammad Nawaz Jawra, DSP Liaquat Niazi and one sub-inspector, was appointed by Federal Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah, after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz took serious note of journalists’ protest in parliament against Shakeel Anjum’s implication in the triple murder case.

The inquiry team called Shakeel Anjum on Sunday morning to record his statement. While denying all the allegations levelled against him by Inspector Idrees Rathore, Shakeel Anjum provided documentary evidence to the joint inquiry team, substantiating his plea that he was being implicated in the case with clear malicious intents. Shakeel Anjum told the team that Inspector Idrees Rathore holds personal grudge against him because he (Shakeel Anjum) has highlighted the incidents of misconduct, abuse of power, and accesses against poor citizens a number of time through his stories published in The News.

He informed the joint inquiry team that Inspector Idrees Rathore has threatened him, directly and indirectly, on a number of occasions in the past. “Having realised that such coercive tactics would not make me budge, he (Rathore) even employed other tactics through different individuals including offering money in return of refraining from reporting the misdeeds he has committed,” Shakeel Anjum informed the inquiry team. He also briefed them about the background of the whole story that eventually led to his implication in the triple murder case. He informed the team that the bitterness between him and Inspector Idrees Rathore started when some poor people visited him in The News office and informed him that two young men of their family have been murdered by Inspector Idrees Rathore on Margallas in a fake police encounter.

Shakeel Anjum informed the team that he picked up the story, investigated it thoroughly and eventually revealed the facts that eventually led to a judicial inquiry ordered by the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench, against Inspector Idrees Rathore for murdering the two young men in a fake police encounter that is still pending with the Assistant Commissioner (Rural) Dr Ehtesham Anwar, who was appointed by the LHC as the inquiry officer. Shakeel Anjum informed the inquiry team that he had been informing the office-bearers of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club (RIPC) about the threats and warnings given to him by Inspector Idrees Rathore for almost a year. The joint inquiry team remained in session for over 100 minutes. The inquiry team is expected to compile its findings and submit the report within the next few days.
Source: The News
Date:3/10/2006