Centre to probe reporter’s killing if Punjab doesn’t: Sana | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Centre to probe reporter’s killing if Punjab doesn’t: Sana

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said it is the responsibility of the Punjab government to investigate the killing of an innocent female reporter during the PTI long march or the federal government will fulfil its legal obligation.

The minister tweeted that her colleagues had stated that she had been pushed. He demanded that the accused be arrested and an investigation launched. He said the issue had become suspicious after the account of her colleagues. Sadaf’s colleague, Azal Syal, gave an account of how Sadaf died. Sadaf Naeem was covering the PTI long march near Gujranwala when she was hit to death by Imran Khan’s container. She was among three reporters running alongside his container to talk to him. Staff members of other channels, reporter Akhlaq Bajwa and his cameraman Pervez Toba, reporter Kashif Salman and his cameraman, had also been chasing the truck for a very long distance.

Exhausted with the physical effort and frustrated at being denied to speak to the PTI chairman, they decided not to pursue the container and also advised Sadaf not do so. However, she continued to trail the container. She was so focused on her work that she ignored all dangers. When she got an opportunity to grab a side of the container, she tried to mount it. At that very moment, hanging outside the container perilously, Sadaf instead of being helped up was allegedly shoved aside by the guards at Imran’s cubicle on the container. The reporter fell on the road and was instantly crushed.

While the cameras were recording the horrible tragedy, cameraman Asif Pervez raised the alarm and tried to stop the container but reportedly the guard’s hurled abuse and threw bottles at them to dissuade them from recording the incident. Later, when the truck stopped at a little distance ahead, they proceeded to thrash the reporters and their cameramen.

One of them even snatched the cell phone from one of the newsmen recording the incident. Soon afterwards, Sadaf’s body was removed and Imran Khan came down to inspect the scene. It was frustrating to see that despite the grave tragedy none of the PTI leaders stepped forward to intervene and stop the melee, and even when Imran Khan stepped down, his guards were busy thrashing the news crew and snatching cameras from them. Most of those present there at the time were news crew, some of whom were eyewitnesses to Sadaf’s death.

They held guards on the PTI chairman’s container responsible for the callousness that caused Sadaf to fall down and be crushed. However, Punjab government spokesperson Musarrat Jamshaid Cheema has denied reports that the journalists had been pushed by guards. Talking to a news channel, she said it was an accident.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said she was walking on the divider when she slipped. Talking to a news channel, he said the container was heavy so it could not have stopped instantly despite moving slowly. In the latest development, Muhammad Naeem, the husband of the reporter, said it was an accident and refused to take legal action. The police handed over the body to the family for burial after his written statement.

Source: The News

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