Monday June 17, 2024

Killing of varsity student: Police register case against protesters, journalists under Anti-Terrorism Act

By Imdad Soomro
March 18, 2021

KARACHI: The Sindh Police have registered cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act against journalists, writers and political workers for protesting against the alleged extrajudicial killing of Irfan Jatoi in the Sukkur’s SITE area Police Station.

Irfan Jatoi, a student of the Sindh University, was killed in an alleged encounter by the Sukkur Police some days ago. Political parties and activists associated with the civil society, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Rawadari Tehrik, Servants of Sindh and others protested in front of the office of Additional Inspector General of Police, Sukkur. Protesters were demanding an impartial inquiry into the incident and the journalists were covering the protest.

On the complaint of Sub-Inspector Mir Hassan Shar of the SITE Police Station, the police on March 15, 2021, registered a case against the protesters and journalists under sections 341, 120, 121, 123, 221, 431, 114, 120-B of the Pakistan Penal Code and 11 EE and 7 ATA of Anti-Terrorism Act against bureau chief of Samma TV Sahil Jogi, bureau chief of Abtak TV Imdad Phulpoto, Rustam Indhar of daily Puchano, his son Irshad Rustam, student of Shah Latif University Khairpur and journalist Adam Shanbani, writer and intellectual Ustad Khalid Chandio, Dr Niaz Kalani of JSQM, Riaz Chandio of JSM, Ghulam Nabi and Sajid Jatoi, brothers of deceased student Irfan Jatoi.

Journalist Sahil Jogi told The News that all the journalists were performing their professional duties and present at the place of protest for coverage of the sit-in but the Sukkur Police included their names in the case falsely. Jogi said that 10 days ago, the police had entered his house and tortured him and his wife and after the protest of journalist organisations, the police officially apologised to him. According to the said case, police have linked journalist Adam Shanbhani, his relative Khalid Shanbhani, renowned writer and intellectual Ustad Khalid Chandio and social activist Qadir Chandio with banned organisation Sindh Revolutionary Army and its head Shafi Burfat.

This reporter tried his best to get the version of SSP Sukkur Irfan Samon, called on his cell phone and sent him a text message but till the filing of this story, he did not respond.

However, Media Coordinator for Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Sukkur, Sub-Inspector Bilal Leghari in his brief version told The News that the case registered against political workers and some journalists was genuine. According to him, protestors including journalists have chanted anti-state slogans during their protest on March 15, 2021. Leghari added that proper Sections have been included in the case as per factual position and no accusation and section added falsely against protestors, if anyone is innocent and implicated falsely then he would be cleared in investigation.

According to the Sukkur Police press release, deceased Irfan Jatoi was a hardened criminal and involved in dozens of cases of car lifting, kidnapping for ransom and other heinous crimes and the protesters, including journalists, chanted anti-state slogans and threatened police officials.