PTV journalist manhandled by police
ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Police officials deployed at the red-zone area manhandled a journalist of the Pakistan Television on the pretext of security clearance on Sunday night.
The victim — a PTV news editor — seeking anonymity told Dawn that the police officials deployed at the Constitution Avenue near PTV stopped him and his colleague for security clearance when they were entering the zone. “My colleague produced his official card on the demand of the officials and asked them to allow them enter the red-zone after security clearance but they refused to oblige,” he said.
The news editor said other vehicles were being given the facility to use the red-zone. “When I asked the officials to let me to talk to a senior officer, a constable punched me on face and also used obscene language,” he alleged.
Two other police officials joined the constable and started manhandling him, he said, adding that the constable snatched the keys from him and took the vehicle away. “It was the nastiest behaviour I ever experienced at the hands of law-enforcement personnel,” the police victim said. A police official present on the occasion also seemed perplexed at suck kind of behaviour and called a senior official to resolve the issue.
He said the senior official arrived in “traditional police style” and heard the narrative of the men who unleashed violence on him in the center of federal capital at a place thought to be the safest one in the whole country but did not take any action against the policemen.
“I stood there feeling victimised and terrorised and thinking of the plight of hundreds of others citizens who are abused, harassed and humiliated by the law-enforcement personnel in every part of the country on daily-basis,” the news editor said.
“If a journalist can be tortured for no reason in the heart of Islamabad with the Parliament, the president and the prime minister houses and Supreme Court around, what would be fate of hundreds of other common people who face such treatment in other cities and rural areas?” asked the victim
“If I cannot enjoy security and justice at this place, who would come to the rescue of those living far away from the corridors of power and ruling elite who claim to be burning their blood for the sake of people who brought them to power?” he further queried.
The news editor said he would have ignored the incident but it was a public issue and such things could happen to other people as well. He asked the high-ups, particularly Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Rahman A Malik to take notice of the incident and initiate action to discourage the “anti-people police culture”.
The police when contacted showed ignorance about the incident, saying personnel of different police stations and security departments were deployed there and that it was difficult to identify them.