Peshawar resident held for inciting violence against journalists
PESHAWAR: The police arrested a man here on Saturday after he was seen in a viral video ask the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers to kill journalists and TV anchors critical of their leader, Imran Khan.
An official of the Faqirabad police station told Dawn that the detainee, Mustafa, was a resident of Mardan, who lived in a room of a commercial plaza in Ettehad Colony of the provincial capital.
He said the accused had released a video clip on social media in which he incited the PTI workers to violence against journalists and TV anchors.
The official said the police had booked the man under sections 506 and 153-A of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 25 of the Telegraph Act over criminal intimidation and for ‘promoting enmity between different groups’.
He said the case was registered on a complaint filed by Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) president Nasir Hussain, who said the accused had tried to incite people to violence endangering the lives of journalists and therefore, the police should take action against him.
Earlier, the video, which was uploaded on Facebook before going viral, showed a man tell the PTI workers that former Prime Minister Imran Khan had clearly told them to come out of their homes to protest his ouster. The man was seen call for killing journalists and TV anchors, who speak against Mr Imran, in the broad daylight and said such media persons should be hanged to death.
However, he appeared in another video afterwards apologising for his earlier outburst against journalists and TV anchors.
“I, after waking up from sleep, somehow ended up making that video in which he had said objectionable things. I was not in my senses when I recorded it,” he said.
The accused also sought forgiveness for the act and said he would not repeat that ‘mistake’.
In a statement issued here, the KhUJ expressed concern about the call for killing journalists, who speak against former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
It said that dissenting views were beauty of democracy but extremism could not be allowed.
The KhUJ said that media had played a major role in PTI chief Imran Khan’s ascent to power. “Inciting people to violence against journalists is akin to taking the law into their own hands,” it said in the statement.
The union said that it was the media’s responsibility to amplify voices of all political parties and segments of population.
“These types of videos will further polarise the society,” it said.
The KhUJ asked the PTI leadership, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and police chief to take notice of the issue and take legal action.
It also asked media persons to take extra care in performing their duties and avoid unnecessary debates.