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TV journalist shot dead in Karachi

September 10, 2015

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KARACHI: A former TV journalist was shot dead in North Karachi on Wednesday noon in a suspected targeted attack.

According to police, two men on a motorcycle opened fire at Aftab Alam, 44, when he came out of his house near the UP Mor.

He was taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital by his mother, sister and a niece where doctors pronounced him dead, said additional police surgeon Dr Rohina Hasan.

The family members were not satisfied with the ‘pronouncement’ and without allowing the doctors to conduct post-mortem took the body to a private hospital near National Stadium.

There were bullet marks on his head, Dr Rohina said.

Karachi-West DIG Feroze Shah told Dawn that Aftab Alam had been hit by three bullets and investigators had collected from the crime scene the spent bullets fired from a 0.9mm pistol.

The exact motive behind the murder could not be ascertained.

Karachi-West DIG Feroze Shah said Aftab Alam had started his career from Geo TV and later joined Samaa TV. He was producer of Geo business news and assignment editor in Samaa TV. For almost one and a half years he had not been associated with any media organisation.

SSP Central Muqaddas Haider quoted the victim’s wife as saying that Aftab Alam had been doing his personal business at the Karachi Stock Exchange and was engaged in real estate dealings.

The murder of Aftab Alam came a day after the killing of Geo TV’s satellite technician Arshad Ali Jaffery in an attack on the channel’s DSNG in Bahadurabad. The driver was injured.

Karachi-East DIG Munir Ahmed Shaikh told Dawn that the forensic report suggested that the weapons used in the murder of Geo’s technician as well as four policemen in Saddar and Gulshan-i-Iqbal two weeks ago were the same as used by the killer of Aftab Alam on Wednesday.

Two shopkeepers were also gunned down in the same neighbourhood. SSP Central Muqaddas Haider said it appeared to be a sectarian attack and the killers might have belonged to the same group.

PROTEST: Journalists held a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club in protest against the killings of Aftab Alam and Arshad Jaffery and termed it an attack on the media.

Addressing the protesters, Amin Yusuf, secretary general of the PFUJ headed by Rana Azeem, said that more than 100 journalists had been killed across the country over the past 10 years. He said an emergency meeting had been convened to discuss security of media personnel.

Khurshid Abbasi, secretary general of the PFUJ headed by Afzal Butt, said the killings were a conspiracy against the media. He demanded immediate arrest of the killers and said his organisation would hold a countrywide protest on Thursday.

Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) president G.M. Jamali said journalists would hold a protest outside the Chief Minister’s House if the Sindh government failed to arrest the killers and protect the life of media personnel.

The KUJ (Dastoor) said Aftab Alam’s murder had raised questions about the performance of the provincial government and security agencies.

NEXUS: Rangers took notice of the killings of journalists in the city and said concerted efforts would be made to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous acts.

“The nexus between some groups trying to malign the (Karachi) operation will be made public and stern action will be taken against the elements who are killing media men for their ulterior motives,” a spokesperson for the paramilitary force said.

JOURNALIST INJURED: In Peshawar, meanwhile, a journalist was injured in an attack on Tuesday late night.

Abdul Azam Shinwari, from Khyber Agency, was returning to his home in Hayatabad when a man opened fire at him. He was taken to the Hayatabad Medical Complex where his condition was said to be stable. The journalist suffered three bullet wounds in his legs. Azam Shinwari works for APP news agency as well as Pakistan Television.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2015

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