ISLAMABAD: The capital police have failed to identify the Punjab police officials who tortured mediapersons in the Red Zone on August 31.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Tahir Alam Khan on Thursday informed the National Assembly standing committee on information, broadcasting and national heritage that whenever the police arrested the suspects in connection with the attack on Parliament House, the PTV building and mediapersons, courts released them on bail.
However, when the IGP was asked why officials of the Punjab police, who were involved in torturing the mediapersons, were not arrested, he said they could not be identified.
During the meeting, Geo TV correspondents Arshad Waheed Chaudhry and Amina Amir informed the committee that they were harassed and manhandled by supporters of the PTI. On a number of occasions, they alleged, the PTI chief provoked his supporters against the channel.
Managing Director PTV Mohammad Malick told the meeting that on September 1 a female anchor was manhandled by the protesters who entered the PTV building.
Shaukat Paracha of Aaj TV said on August 24 the supporters of PTI beat six workers of the channel. Though Imran Khan apologised for the incident, his supporters again threatened the media team of the channel on August 26, he added.
Raja Usman, a reporter of Samaa TV, said a team from the channel came under attack from the protesters while covering the storming of the PTV.
He said teams from his channel were also attacked on August 24, September 14 and October 3. Journalist Gharida Farooqi was attacked in Multan, he added.
Hassan Ayub of Dunya News claimed that there was an official of the Islamabad police among the Punjab policemen who beat the journalists.
A member of the committee, Talal Chaudry, said the FIRs of all the incidents should be registered separately and the leadership of the PTI and PAT should be nominated for provoking their workers to attack mediapersons.
The PTV MD said individual reporters cannot stand against the two parties so owners of the media houses should lodge cases and the reporters should be made witnesses in the FIRs.
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2014