Peshawar: SHOs suspended for torturing journalists
PESHAWAR: The authorities here on Monday suspended two station house officers for torturing employees of a local Urdu daily few two days ago. The suspended SHOs Abidur Rehman of Hashtnagri police station and Asif Sharif of Faqirabad police station were leading a police party, which thrashed three journalists and two security guards at the head office of daily Mashriq on Saturday.
“The policemen didn’t raid the newspaper office. They were chasing an accused when they saw a man armed with Kalashnikov and took him into custody. Later he introduced himself as security guard of the newspaper,” SSP (operations) Ijaz Ahmad told Dawn.
About torture on three reporters, he said that they had tried to get the security guard released and policemen thrashed them. “I reached the spot soon after the incident and apologised to the journalists,” he added.
Mr Ahmad said that after suspension of the two SHOs, ASP Faisal was assigned to probe the matter. The inquiry officer could be changed if journalists wished so, he added.
Earlier, a condemnation meeting and protest demonstration were held at Peshawar Press Club. Journalists from different districts of the province attended the protest meeting in a large number.
The representatives of Media Marketing Association, Railways Workers Union and hawkers also participated in the protest meeting.
Khyber Union of Journalists president Arshad Aziz Malik, general secretary Yousaf Ali, senior journalist Shamim Shahid, PPC president Saiful Islam Saifi, general secretary Shahid Hameed and editor of daily Mashriq Syed Fayaz Ali Shah addressed on the occasion.
Through a unanimously adopted resolution, the meeting condemned attack on the newspaper office, demanded impartial investigation into the matter and punishment for the officials responsible for the incident. The resolution also demanded of the government to take steps to avoid such incidents in the future. The protesting journalists also chanted slogans against police for torturing their colleagues.
Addressing on the occasion, Fayaz Ali Shah praised journalists for forging unity. He said that his newspaper would highlight problems faced by working journalists without any discrimination.