One dead, five injured in attack on ARY News Karachi office

Published August 22, 2016
Activists march to surround office of ARY news channel following the statements of MQM chief. —Online
Activists march to surround office of ARY news channel following the statements of MQM chief. —Online
Rangers stand over a demolished hunger strike camp of MQM following a clash with police. —AFP
Rangers stand over a demolished hunger strike camp of MQM following a clash with police. —AFP
Police mobile seen set ablaze by angry mob on road leading to Governor House. —Online
Police mobile seen set ablaze by angry mob on road leading to Governor House. —Online
A police van and motorcycle of a traffic police official were reportedly set on fire. —Online
A police van and motorcycle of a traffic police official were reportedly set on fire. —Online

KARACHI: Violent protesters attacked an ARY News office in the Saddar area of the metropolis on Monday evening, which resulted in clash between police and the angry mob — killing one person and injuring several others.

Police later confirmed that "MQM workers pelted stones at police officials and the ARY office", adding that they also resorted to aerial firing outside the office.

Head of Emergency at Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Seemin Jamali said, "At least one person was brought dead [to JPMC] while several others were injured." Dr Jamali later identified the deceased as Arif Saeed.

The ARY office is located in a busy part of the metropolis above the popular Zainab Market. Traffic came to a standstill due to the violent protests and all roads leading towards Governor House were sealed.

Massive traffic jams caused a slowdown on connecting roads including I.I. Chundrigar Road and Club Road.

ARY News has alleged that the protesters were members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The TV channel further reported that the protesters entered the building and attacked the staff.

According to TV channels, MQM chief Altaf Hussain in his speech earlier today told protesters "to storm the offices of TV channels".

Senior ARY anchor Kashif Abbasi said, "They are Muttahida people. He (Altaf) ordered them to do it and within 10 minutes all this happened."

A Samaa DSNG van was also attacked. Additionally, a police van and motorcycle of a traffic police official were reportedly set on fire.

Eyewitnesses at the Karachi Press Club said Rangers men with their faces covered ransacked the MQM camp in the area and arrested workers of the political party.

Alluding to a conspiracy against the MQM, MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi tweeted, "MQM has been protesting since past 3 years non-violently. Regretfully masked men pre-present at Fawara Chawk created these deplorable scenes."

In a second tweet, Abidi said: "Disassociate yourself from violent mobs sent for a purpose!"

People were protesting peacefully at ARY office against biased media coverage when suddenly police started firing on peaceful protestors, claimed MQM leader Wasay Jalil.

Police resorted to shelling to disperse the angry mob and fired rubber bullets, injuring the protestors, DawnNews reported.

Meanwhile, Pak Sarzameen Party’s chief Mustafa Kamal, while addressing a press conference, said "whatever we had been saying has been proven right".

"The MQM chief has been creating a law and order situation in the metropolis by taking funding from Indian intelligence agency RAW," he claimed.

Condemnations

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the attack on the offices of private news channels in Karachi, and termed it “an attack on freedom of Press and expression”.

Nawaz directed the concerned authorities at the federal and provincial levels to immediately bring the culprits to task and ensure the safety of the civilians in general and journalist fraternity in particular.

Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, while issuing statement following the incident, guaranteed protection to the citizens.

“The attackers will be made to pay for their wrong deeds,” he said, adding, that no one is allowed to carry out violent protests.

Meanwhile, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif telephoned DG Rangers Sindh and asked him to expedite action against the culprits behind today’s incident, DawnNews reported.

A Sindh Police spokesman said that "Sindh IG has taken notice of violent attacks and firing at ARY News office".

The IG also ordered that security at media offices across the city should be increased while sealing the red zone.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also took notice of the attack.

Scenes from the attack

A police van set on fire during the protest — DawnNews screengrab
A police van set on fire during the protest — DawnNews screengrab

Policeman seen during clash between police and activists of MQM. —Online
Policeman seen during clash between police and activists of MQM. —Online

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...