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May 22, 2020

Car riders try to manhandle Azhar Munir

Top Story

May 22, 2020

LAHORE: Four unidentified car riders on Wednesday tried to manhandle veteran journalist and writer Azhar Munir staging a hunger strike for the release of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for the last 53 days on a footpath outside the Lahore Press Club.

The intruders fled hurling abuses and threats when some passersby and guards of the press club gathered at the scene.

Azhar Munir told The News while he was busy arranging his books and newspapers, a car with four riders stopped in front of him and a man opened the rear door, extending a lunch box towards him in a gesture of offering him food. “When I refused to take it, he called me to come near the car. But I refused it too. On this, he asked me loudly to come to him, but I kept refusing. Then those men began hurling verbal abuses to me, threatening me with dire consequences if I do not end the hunger strike.”

He said he also replied to them loudly that he would not end the hunger strike, come what may. Hearing this altercation, some pedestrians stopped to see what’s happening and a guard of the press club rushed to the scene. Sensing that a crowd was gathering, the car riders sped away hurling abuses and threats, Azhar said. He told The News that few days back, some of his journalist friends had conveyed to him that his hunger strike is causing unrest in some quarters and “they could cause him harm” if he does not quit soon. Azhar said he was committed to the cause of freedom of press and is not afraid of any consequences he might face for pursuing a hunger strike for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. “I was fully aware of the perils of such adventure in an atmosphere of a hostile government bent upon taming the media.