PPF strongly condemns the attack on Sada e Watan Bureau Chief Naseer Ghumman in Sialkot
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) strongly condemns the violent attack on daily Sada e Watan Bureau Chief Naseer Ghumman in Sialkot, Punjab. PPF urges authorities to take immediate steps to ensure the arrest of those behind the attack and to provide the required medical assistance and compensation to the injured journalist.
On December 16, Ghumman was traveling on a motorcycle with his friend Syed Zahid Ejaz when four unknown gunmen opened fire on him leaving him seriously injured. Ghumman was under medical supervision at Jinnah Hospital Lahore and his left leg has been amputated due to the deep wound.
Speaking to PPF, Ghumman said that he had raised his voice against the alleged corruption by Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) Sialkot officers after which he was attacked.
“I published news articles in the newspaper revealing the corruption of TMA officers. When TMA inspector Malik Junaid invited me to a fort on December 16, I was on my way there when I was attacked by four unidentified people,” he shared.
A First Information Report (FIR) of the incident was registered in Kotwali Police Station on December 17 under Section 324 and Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Investigation Officer Muhammad Naeem told PPF that police was investigating the matter adding that they were very close to finding the attackers.. With the help of CCTV footage, police have arrested three suspected attackers, he said, adding that further information will be released later.
“According to the initial investigations, Naseer Ghumman had filed an application for the inquiry against TMA officers in the district commissioner’s office and was writing news stories related to the proceedings as well. The inquiry is in process and one officer has been removed from the job”, Naeem added.
The investigation officer said that the arrested attackers were hired by someone else and the police would identify the main suspect soon.
Daily Sada-e-Watan Editor Sameer Anwar told PPF that as the bureau chief from Sialkot, Ghumman, had written several news articles on TMA officials. However, he added, it would be premature to comment before the police had finalized their investigation.
“We denounced the vicious assault on Naseer Ghumman and demand the culprits’ quick arrest,” he said.
Syed Zahid Ejaz, Ghumman’s friend and the complainant of FIR told PPF that all four attackers were unknown but they targeted Ghumman specifically, adding that the journalist did not have any personal conflict with anyone.