Friday January 27, 2023

On complaint of Murad Saeed: Drama in capital as journalist arrested in raid on house

Images of the scuffle between Baig and FIA officials were widely-circulated on social media, showing the journalist pointing a gun at an official

February 17, 2022
Two different cases have been registered against Mohsin Baig with the police and FIA under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Anti Terrorist Act (ATA). -Photo Facebook
Two different cases have been registered against Mohsin Baig with the police and FIA under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Anti Terrorist Act (ATA). -Photo Facebook 

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency's Cybercrime Wing and the Islamabad Police on Wednesday arrested owner-Editor of Daily Jinnah and Online News Agency Mohsin Jamil Baig after a raid at his house in F-8/1, a spokesperson of the news agency said.

A large contingent of police with the raiding party of FIA surrounded the house of Mohsin Jamil Baig in the morning and they physically harassed him, Baig's spokesperson maintained.

During the raid, bitter words were exchanged between the journalist and FIA officials as well as the police as Baig asked for his arrest warrants. The officials did not have any warrants and no case had been registered against the journalist, said Baig's spokesperson.

Images of the scuffle between Baig and FIA officials were widely-circulated on social media, showing the journalist pointing a gun at an official while grabbing another one from the other hand, with journalists questioning whether it was the real scene of Baig's arrest.

Hamza Baig, son of Mohsin Baig, told media persons after the arrest that some plainclothes men had stormed into his house (House No8, Street No39, Sector F-8/1) and started dragging his father Mohsin Baig without showing their identity, claiming they were officials of FIA. He added that they had no arrest warrants or any detention document. “On demanding their identity, they started scuffling with my father,” Hamza maintained.

The police claimed that an FIA official sustained injuries after a shootout by the accused. They said that at least four bullets were fired at the police and FIA officials by the accused. Mohsin Baig, while talking to the media in police custody, said, “Though I was in police custody, the FIA personnel tortured me callously on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.” Replying to a question about his statement quoted from the book of Reham Khan, he said that the book was published and available in the market and on social media. “The script or text of the book was neither contradicted nor anybody sued the author in the court of law,” Baig maintained.

Two different cases have been registered against Mohsin Baig with the police and FIA under various sections of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Anti Terrorist Act (ATA). The Margalla police station has registered the First Information Report (FIR) under sections 324/342/353/Inquiry No535/2022 dated 16.02.2022 on the complaint of Murad Saeed, Federal Minister for Communications. The minister in his complaint stated that he stood first among all the ministries and was given the excellent performance award by the prime minister. He said on 10th Feb, 2022, Mohsin Baig attacked his character by using abusive and immoral language in a talk show namely 'G for Gharida'. He alleged that in the presence of other participants, Baig related a baseless story with derogatory remarks and the same was thereafter shared through social media, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. This shattered his image in public.

The ATC judge has directed the Margalla Police to present the accused again on February 19, 2022.

According to reports, a joint team of FIA and Margalla police conducted another raid at Baig's house to recover required evidence. This time, the raiding party obtained search warrants from a court of law. On the other hand, the Additional District and Sessions Judge (ASJ) Zafar Iqbal declared the raid on senior journalist Mohsin Baig’s house illegal here on Wednesday.

The court of law, terming the raid conducted by a joint team of the Margalla police and FIA as illegal, asked the top cop of the Islamabad Police to take action against the SHO Margalla police station who got registered his own FIR just for showing fake efficiency.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal, in his decision, said: “Illegal raid was conducted at the house of the alleged accused by irrelevant persons who were not authorized for so. Instead of lodging of FIR against those persons, SHO has got registered his own FIR just for showing fake efficiency.

“The alleged detenue is present in injured condition in the court and he is negating the allegations mentioned in above said both FIRs,” the court said and added that the misconduct of the officials was quite visible.

“It is crystal clear from the peculiar facts that no raiding party departed from Lahore and SHO is unable to produce any official of FIA Lahore along with relevant record till yet. He has produced record of his own case FIR which is devoid of any police diary, statement of any person recorded under Section 161 Cr.PC and recovery memo of crime empties allegedly fired by the accused party. The accused has not been arrested in the main case of FIA till yet,” the court observed.

The court disposed of the petition with the direction to the SHO to entertain the application of the alleged detenue in accordance with the law regarding the occurrence as per his own version and asked to send a copy to IGP Islamabad for necessary action against the SHO. The court ordered the police to record the statement of Mohsin Baig and take action as per law.

Rahil Niazi, counsel for Mohsin Jamil Baig, had filed the petition against illegal detention of senior journalist. Rahil told the court people came into the house of Mohsin Jamil Baig in plainclothes early in the morning on Wednesday and took him with them. Arrest warrants and search warrants were demanded from SP and DSP but these were not provided. The SP ordered the persons in plainclothes to raid the house. They thrashed the children and broke their mobile phones. They subjected Mohsin Jamil Baig to severe violence and took him away with them.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly denounced the arrest of senior journalist and analyst Mohsin Jamil Baig and harassing his family members by FIA personnel. The PFUJ demanded the government release the detained journalist till the completion of judicial investigation and inquiry or they will be forced to give a call for protest.

In a joint statement issued here Wednesday, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi said the arrest of a journalist this way was shameful and live evidence of the fascist mindset of ruling elite. They held that making the arrest without arrest warrants gives the impression that no rule of law is in place in the country. "We demand a judicial inquiry into this matter," they added. The senior journalist should be released till the report is received. They remarked using such tactics were tantamount to preventing the media and browbeat the journalists.

Shahzada Zulfiqar said the matters of more grave nature than this await action by the prime minister and government machinery. But stifling every voice of truth and particularly targeting journalists figures atop the priorities of government.

Nasir Zaidi said the era of the incumbent government is not less than any martial law for journalists. The PFUJ will not be intimidated by such tactics to change its course. It will keep its ideological base alive at all costs.

Meanwhile, PMLN spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, while terming the arrest of senior journalist as the worst political victimization, called for immediate release of the leading journalist. In a statement on Wednesday, she said Imran Khan, who himself should have been arrested, is arresting journalists. She wondered how much media was independent in Pakistan. The whole world has seen it from the arrest of Mohsin Baig like terrorists today. The truth cannot be concealed by arresting journalists and raiding their residences, she underlined.

She remarked the arrest of Mohsin Baig reflects the fear of Imran Khan of going home. "Detention of Mohsin Baig is testimony of panic and fear of Imran Khan."

Former president Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the arrest of senior journalist Mohsin Baig. In a statement, Asif Ali Zardari said that the use of state power on dissidents is a reflection of authoritarian mentality. If anyone doesn't have the courage to listen to criticism, then he should give up politics. Zardari said that the manner in which Mohsin Baig was arrested is illegal. Imran Khan's problem is that he considers himself a dictator while in fact he is a puppet. Zardari demanded immediate release of Mohsin Baig.

Also, senior PPP leader Sherry Rehman strongly condemned the raid on the residence of Mohsin Baig and his arrest. In a statement issued here Wednesday, she condemned the arrest of Baig. The way the government is making arrests is condemnable, she said adding PPP considers independence of the media a key pillar. She went on to say the government has become bewildered. The action being taken against the media is bringing a bad name to the country at the international level.

JUIF chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman condemned the raid on the residence of Mohsin Baig and his arrest in the strongest terms. In a statement issued here Wednesday, he said the sanctity of "Chaddar and chardewari" was being trampled. Raid on the residence of Mohsin Baig is deplorable and condemnable, he said adding the government stands confused and unnerved. He called for immediate release of Baig.

Pakistan People's Party leaders, including Aurangzeb Burki, Member Central Executive Committee, PPP, condemned the arrest of Mohsin Baig. PPP's Lahore-based leaders Aziz Chan, Javed Akhtar, Ashraf Bhatti, Israr Butt, Nargis Khan, Awan Suhail, Akram Dogar, Amjad Awaan and others have demanded his immediate release.

Talking to media in Lahore on Wednesday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Political Communication questioned that if Mosin Baig was a journalist and that he had worked with any media organisation.

He said that Baig used indecent and base words which even a layman won’t do. He said that minister had the right to complain. Gill also criticised the episode that happened during the detention of Baig.

On Tuesday, in his press briefing after the cabinet meeting, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that that the cabinet had recommended the Law Ministry to devise strong legislations against defamation campaigns on social and electronic media.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has also issued a show-cause notice to the private news media outlet for airing what it called derogatory/ demeaning remarks about Murad Saeed and Prime Minister Imran Khan without any editorial check in a Thursday show.

The regulatory authority says the remarks were in ‘sheer violation’ of the Pemra Ordinance 2002; several clauses of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 and the orders of the Supreme Court in a 2018 suo motu case. The regulatory body directed the channel’s CEO to reply in writing within four days as to why legal action including a fine, suspension and revocation of licence along with other measures should not be initiated.


    Saad Masood commented 11 months ago

    Mohsin baig is neither a journalist nor an analyst but a paid puppet and a black-mailer like other tokra so-called journalists. He should be stabbed and put behind the bars asap

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    kindly dont make a bias story, Mr. Baig pointing a gun as well as firing was done. commented 11 months ago


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    Syed Sareer commented 11 months ago

    Mohsin Baig was seen using gun and firing why didn’t you mention this in the report

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