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Sunday April 21, 2024

Commission calls for expediting probe into abduction of Sukkur journalists

By Imdad Soomro
May 05, 2023

KARACHI: Commission for the Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners (CJMP) Chairperson Justice (retd) Rasheed A Rizvi has asked the Sindh home secretary and IGP to expedite the investigation into the kidnapping and torturing of two journalists of Sukkur district and submit a report within seven days to the Commission.

The Sindh government on November 16, 2022, established the Commission for the Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners (CJMP) in pursuance of sub-section 1 of section 8 of ‘The Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Act, 2021’, which orders the formation of the CJMP. The 14-member CJMP headed by Justice (retd) Rasheed Rizvi consists of four ex-officio members, including the information secretary, home secretary, and law secretary along with nine non-official members, including Fahim Siddiqui of Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), Kazi Asad of All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS), Dr Jabbar Khatak of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Athar Kazi of Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA), Ayaz Tunio of Sindh Bar Council, Prof Tauseef Khan of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Shazia Umar and Syeda Marvi, members of the provincial assembly (MPAs), and Ghuma Fariduddin of the APNEC.

Chairperson of the Commission Rasheed Rizvi, in his first letter on the tragic incidents of kidnapping of journalists, addressed to the Sindh home secretary and Sindh IGP, said the Commission has been approached by a journalists’ leader Ghazi Jhandir, head of the Sindh Journalists Council (SJC), about the two terrible events of kidnapping and brutal torture of two journalists Irfan Kalhoro and Paryal Dayo along with his son Irshad by a group of goons. Rizvi, in his correspondence, informed both the top officers that the allegation of the cases are of serious nature so, under the section 14 of the Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Act 2021 read with rule 23 of the Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Rules 2021, these require investigation at the earliest. He also sought reports from both the officers within seven days.

According to the details and contents of the first information reports (FIRs) registered at the Pano Aqil Police Station in district Sukkur on April 28, 2023, journalist Irfan Kalhoro was kidnapped by a group of goons headed by Abdullah Chachar, Mehmood Chachar, and others, and later he was recovered by local police in injured condition.

However, due to the political backing of kidnappers, journalist Kalhoro was booked in a case of extortion on the complaint of one of the kidnappers. After the protest of journalists’ organisations across the province, the Sukkur Police rectified their fault and declared the case as false before the local court and registered another case against Abdullah Chachar and others on the complaint of the brother of Irfan Kalhoro.

In another incident, Pano Aqil Press Club President and senior journalist Paryal Dayo, along with his son Irshad, was abducted the same night in front of the Pano Aqil Police Station and was later recovered after several hours by the same group of Abduallah Chachar. The case of the incident was also registered at the Pano Aqil Police Station on the complaint of journalist Paryal Dayo. This correspondent tried to approach the main accused in both cases, Abduallh Chachar, for his version but found his phone off, however, he through his Facebook account has termed both the cases fake, declaring all allegations fabricated and due to personal enmity.

Pano Aqil Press Club President Paryal Dayo told ‘The News’ that a criminal gang headed by notorious criminal Abdullah Chachar is involved in the kidnapping of the journalists, including him and demanded an impartial investigation and justice for the journalist community.

Sukkur SSP Sanghar Malik told ‘The News’ that the cases of both incidents had been registered, adding that some of the accused had been arrested and an impartial investigation would be carried out.

He further said those involved in the kidnapping of journalists would not be spared.