Friday December 08, 2023

Karachi Police rough up journalists as Sindh clamps lockdown

By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2021

KARACHI: A senior photojournalist associated with a wire agency and a senior reporter of a private news channel were thrashed by the Karachi Police in districts West and East on Monday, hours after the Sindh government announced its lockdown against Covid-19.

In the aftermath of the incidents, journalists who work late hours were wondering how they would go to their offices on Tuesday in the absence of directive on lockdown and instructions to the police, which the government failed to issue.

In the first incident, Fareed Khan, associated with an international wire agency, who was busy in lockdown coverage in Karachi’s Federal B Area that falls within the limits of Jauharabad police station of District Central, was manhandled by police despite the fact that he introduced himself as a journalist while showing the camera and the office identity card.

“The cops shoved me into the police mobile van and continued to roam in the area for around half an hour during which they misbehaved with me,” Fareed Khan explained. “I showed my office identity card and camera and told them that I am on official duty but despite this they continued to misbehave with me and took me to the police station where I was kept under illegal detention.” Khan further said he was also thrashed despite informing them that “he was a journalist,” in the presence of a senior police officer.

Meanwhile, Karachi Police Chief Imran Yaqoob Minhas, while taking notice of manhandling of Fareed, assured the Karachi Union of Journalists Joint Secretary Talha Hashmi of taking action against the police personnel involved in the incident. The KUJ strongly condemned the incident.

Hours after this, another incident of manhandling occured in Karachi’s district East where Saudabad police manhandled a reporter associated with a private news channel. SHO Saudabad Rana Haseeb manhandled the news channel’s reporter Syed Wasim after taking him to the police station. The reporter said that he had gone to a private hospital for the media coverage.

In an incident of different nature, a team of a local private TV channel, including its reporter Afzal Pervez, DSNG operator and driver, came under attack by the employees of a restaurant while the news channel team was covering the SOPs’ violations in the city.DIG East Saqib Ismail Memon ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The Crime Reporters of Pakistan also condemned these incidents and announced to stage a protest outside the Karachi Police Office today (Tuesday) against the manhandling of journalists by the Karachi Police.