Sukkur police arrest three suspects for harbouring journalist Jan Mahar’s killers | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Sukkur police arrest three suspects for harbouring journalist Jan Mahar’s killers

Pakistan Press Foundation

In a significant development, the Sukkur police have claimed apprehending three influential individuals on charges of harbouring and facilitating the accused in the murder case of senior journalist Jan Muhammad Mahar.

A police team conducted a raid in the Shah Belo forest, resulting in the capture of Umed Qadrani Jatoi, Sarwar Misrani Jatoi and Aqil Dharejo. A case has been registered at the Qadirapur Police Station in District Sukkur

Sukkur Senior Superintendent Irfan Samo confirmed the arrest of the three facilitators, saying that they were apprehended after an encounter. He noted that the police force is actively pursuing the key accused and conducting raids in the riverine area.

To date, six individuals have been arrested in connection with the murder, including Bakhsh Ali Mahar, Babar Mahar, Munwar Ali Mahar, Sher Muhammad Shaikh, Muhammad Ramzan Shaikh and Bashir Mahar.

Mahar, a seasoned journalist associated with the KTN TV channel, was fatally shot on August 13, 2023, in the Sukkur city while on his way home from the office. The assailants, riding a motorcycle, targeted him near St. Saviour School on Queens Road, shooting him with multiple bullets in the head and near his eyes. The victim was rushed to a private hospital and underwent surgery, but he succumbed to his injuries.

The FIR for his murder was filed under sections 147, 148, 440, 120-B, and 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code, along with the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), at the C-Section Police Station.

The brutal killing of journalist Mahar sparked widespread condemnation from journalistic organisations, including the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Sindh Journalists Council, Sindh Sahafi Ithad, Karachi Union of Journalists, Sukkur Union of Journalists, and Hyderabad Union of Journalists. They have demanded the swift arrest of the perpetrators.

In response to the demand, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was formed by the Sindh government, headed by DIG Tanvir Alam Odho. However, as of now, the JIT has yet to initiate its work.

Separately, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ (PFUJ) Action Committee, Sindh, in its meeting held at the Karachi Press Club, has decided to continue the movement till the arrest of the main suspect involved in Mahar’s murder, expressing concern over delay in his arrest.

The committee has announced the second phase of the movement, which includes a countrywide black day on November 30, followed by an All Sindh Journalists Convention in Hyderabad on December 10 and later in Sukkur (date of which would be announced in the Hyderabad convention).

The meeting, which was presided over by Action Committee Chairman Mazhar Abbas and attended among others by the president and secretary general of the PFUJ, Afzal Butt and Arshad Ansari, respectively, also decided that after the Sukkur Convention, the PFUJ would give a countrywide call for decisive and indefinite protest sit-in outside the CM House till the arrest of the main suspect in the murder case. In this protest, the PFUJ will also call for “a march to Karachi”.

The meeting lauded the large participation of journalists from all over Sindh in the rally from the Karachi Press Club to the CM House and a token dharna on Monday. It also thanked the other media stakeholders and bodies, bar associations, trade unions and civil society for their support and participation in the rally.

Protest demonstrations were also held in different parts of the country, including Islamabad, Quetta, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Gujranwala, and the committee thanked all the journalist bodies for their active participation in the protest. It appealed to all the journalist bodies and press clubs to hoist black flags at the clubs and union offices on November 30.

The committee urged the caretaker chief minister, home minister, IGP and investigating agencies to fulfil their commitment as the main culprit through a video message had already confessed that he had killed Mahar. The government failure to arrest him raised serious questions about its capacity to maintain law and order in the province, it said

The committee also decided that it would also investigate the case on its own and would constitute a ‘fact finding team,’ which will submit its report within two-weeks. Justice delayed is justice and this case has already been delayed and remains unresolved even after three months, it lamented.

“What we simply want is result not assurance and PFUJ believes that ‘murder of one journalist is a message for other’ and in the last 10-years over 100 journalists had been killed in all the four Provinces,” the committee said in a press statement.

Source: The News

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