Journalist, relatives assaulted
THATTA, January 24,2005: About two dozen armed men attacked and severely injured senior journalist Mohammad Iqbal Khwaja and his close relatives and friends in Mirpur Bathoro town on the night of Eidul Azha.
According to an FIR registered at Mirpur Bathoro police station under sections 324, 506/2, 147, 148, 149, 427, 337A-III and 337F-II PPC lodged by Mr Khwaja, he, his sons, Ghulam Hussain and Dr Safdar Abbas, RMO at the NICVD Jinnah Hospital, Karachi, brothers Haji Nawaz and Dr Ghulam Abbas Khwaja and friends Haji Ahmed Zour and Niaz Ahmed were sitting in front of the PCO at a bus-stand on the Sujawal-Hyderabad road, the armed men, belonging to the Chandio tribe, stormed the PCO office and attacked them with guns, axes and sticks.
The complainant, who is Dawn’s district correspondent, said he escaped the gun attack and took shelter in the PCO. He alleged that the assailants dragged him out and assaulted him, Dr Ghulam Abbas, Dr Safdar Abbas and others using axes and lathis.
Some saner citizens informed the SHO, but due to Eid holidays, only two police personnel were present there at that time. They rushed to the place, but could do nothing to restrain the assailants who also damaged the PCO and allegedly took away phone instruments and other equipment. Office-bearers and members of the Thatta Press Club wore black armbands on Eid day as a mark of protest.