KARACHI: A DawnNews’ digital satellite news gathering (DSNG) van came under armed attack near Essa Nagri on Friday night, which left its engineer injured in a second such assault on media in the city in less than three months.
In September, an attack on Geo News van killed its engineer while the driver suffered bullet injuries.
Officials were not sure about the motive behind the firing, but they believed it was a deliberate attack when armed riders fired shots at the DSNG moving with its staff for a routine work.
“Witnesses said that armed men on a motorbike fired shots at the DSNG van,” said DIG East Munir Sheikh.
“Four shots were fired at the van and one of them hit a man sitting inside.
He has been identified as DSNG engineer Muhammad Hassan, who has been moved to a private hospital for treatment.”
The fresh attack came as a grim reminder of an episode in September when an attack claimed life of Geo News satellite engineer Syed Arshad Jaffery and left the driver injured.
In January 2014 three employees of the Express News channel were shot dead in North Nazimabad in an attack claimed by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
The media fraternity reacted strongly to the attack on DawnNews van vehicle, calling it an attempt to harass and suppress the spirit of free media.
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and the Karachi Union of Journalists called for thorough and transparent investigations into the incident.
The DawnNews management said there was no prior threat from any group or any warning from law enforcement agencies, but that the attack would definitely cause harassment among media workers.
“Police have to determine what motive was behind the attack,” said Zahid Mazhar, Director of News and Head of Current Affairs of DawnNews.
“Right now we can only demand a police investigation into the incident to determine the motive behind the attack and arrest of those people who have done it.
“The closure of the case without any result will fan speculations and cause fear among media workers.”
Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2015