Nephews booked for journalist’s murder
SWABI – The murder mystery of a Swabi-based journalist was resolved on Friday when the victim’s brother approached the police and registered a case against his two nephews.
Haroon Khan was shot dead outside his house on Thursday when he was returning home at around 9pm.
The murder incident adopted two different aspects when the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed that they had gunned down Haroon because he was linked with intelligence agencies.
A statement from the militant group stated that Haroon was targeted by them because there were suspicions that he was spying on Taliban for the security agencies.
However, District Police Officer (DPO) Sohaib Ashraf said that a FIR has been registered by victim’s brother Manzoor Khan in the City police station. The complainant said the cause of the incident was a dispute over a piece of land in the district headquarters.
The DPO said, “The cause of the killing of Haroon was a family feud.” However, he also said that they were investigating the case, and the suspected persons, identified as Jawad Khan and Hamad Khan, will be arrested soon.
Haroon’s brother stated that a few days back a local court had handed down a verdict in favour of the deceased regarding their property dispute but the possession of the land was with his stepbrother Muhammad Ali.
It has been learned that in connection with the property issue, he had met police officials, apprised them of the situation and sought their help because he wanted to get his property by peaceful means.
Sources said the police officials had assured Haroon that if there was really need of assistance he would get that without any delay.
Two days back, Haroon told this correspondent on phone, “I don’t want to fight with my brother over land. I seek peaceful transfer of the land according to the verdict given by the local court.”
Haroon’s brother said knowing about the delicate situation after the court verdict his nephews took steps to remove him.
Sources said that the demarcation and possession of the land was due to be taken place on Friday and he was targeted a day before the action. DPO Sohaib said he had visited the scene soon after the incident and it was confirmed that the two assailants attacked him and one of them sprayed bullets which caused his death on the spot.
“Haroon was engaged in a land dispute with his stepbrother and an official demarcation by the revenue staff of the disputed property was scheduled to be taken place on Friday,” he said.
He said the police had recovered eight empty shells of the AK-47 rifle from the scene which took place in the front of the main gate of Haroon’s house in Shamshakhel.
The police officials rejected the claim that the assailants were on a motorcycle, saying they were on foot. Haroon’s funeral was held after Friday congregation at the Government High School’s playground and he was laid to rest in his ancestral graveyard. Nazim Ameer Rehman, lawyers, police officials, politicians, journalists from various districts and local people attended his funeral. He left behind a widow, two minor sons and a daughter to mourn his death. His elder son is only nine years old.
Meanwhile, the journalists community held a protest demonstration against the killing of Haroon and demanded the arrest of killers. The protesting journalists gathered outside the City police station and marched towards Karnal Sher Khan Chowk where their leaders addressed the gathering.
Marriyum condemns murder
APP adds: Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb Friday strongly condemned the murder of senior journalist Haroon Khan in Swabi. In a statement issued in Islamabad, she expressed her heartfelt sympathies and condolence for the bereaved family and prayed for elevation of the ranks of the departed soul.
She urged the KP government to arrest the culprits immediately and arraign them before the court for justice. The minister said journalism and democracy were sine quo non for each other and the government was taking appropriate measures for the safety and security of the journalists with a view to create a congenial working environment for them.