Police baton charge journalists
LAHORE- Police baton charged a rally of working journalists and newspaper employees protesting on The Mall.
The procession taken out without violating the ban on assembly of five or more people was led by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) president IH Raashed. The participants marched from the Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) office in Dyal Singh Mansion to Faisal Chowk as groups of two or three. The president of PFUJ and general secretary PUJ Usman Bin Ahmad explained to the police stationed there that the purpose of the procession and the fact that the workers would disperse in a little while. As the rally was being addressed by the PFUJ president an official named Pervez announced that the Superintendent Police (SP) had ordered him to arrest the journalists if they did not disperse within two minutes. Without waiting for a reply he ordered the policemen to “deal” with them.
He personally pushed and manhandled the office-bearers and snatched placards from them and shouted at his colleagues for taking “too long” in approaching the not more than 15 journalists. The police party then attacked and baton charged the participants. The banners and placards carried by them were snatched and taken away. The rally was held to protest against recent attacks on journalists including The News, Islamabad, chief reporter Shakil Sheikh, delay in implementation of the interim relief for the newspaper employees awarded by the seventh wage board in December last, retrenchment of newspaper employees from various publications, non-payment of employees salaries by certain newspaper organizations and dismissal of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists president Pervaiz Shaukat and all office bearers of Jang Employees Union, Rawalpindi.
The PFUJ president, PUJ president Bakhtgir Chaudhry and other PUJ office bearers have condemned the police action against the peaceful rally. Pointing out that it was totally uncalled for since the protestors had remained peaceful throughout the march, they have demanded disciplinary action against the police officials who attacked the rally.
Source: The News