ISLAMABAD: Journalists were injured during a clash between two rival groups inside the National Press Club (NPC) on Thursday.

Recently, the NPC held its annual election after which one of the groups (Azad Panel) accused their rival (Journalist Panel) of rigging. On Thursday, Azad Panel announced to conduct a referendum over the election.

Leaders, members and activists of the panel gathered outside the club while members of the winning Journalist Panel were inside. Police were called to maintain law and order and they were deployed outside the club.

In the afternoon, both groups started chanting slogans against each other which led to a brawl. A couple of journalists sustained injuries, including cuts and bruises, while others were seen trying to resolve the dispute.

Later, separate complaints were lodged with Kohsar police. Police officials remained at the scene of the incident, standing as silent spectators and not even one tried to defuse the situation.

A spokesman for the police said officials remained neutral as allegations of assisting one of the groups during the election were already levelled against them. No action has so far been taken, he added.

The Kohsar police sought guidance and orders from senior police officers over the issue, he added.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2022

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