SUKKUR: Police claimed to have arrested two suspects in the murder of TV journalist Jan Mohammad Mahar and lodged an FIR against six persons on charges of murder and nine facilitators on Wednesday.

Sukkur police officials said the suspects identified as Bakhsh Ali alias Bakhsho Mahar and Babar Mahar had been arrested after several raids on different places in Sukkur and Shikarpur districts last night.

They would produce them in court and obtain their physical remand to start interrogation, they said.

They said that police had lodged the FIR at C-Section police station on a complaint filed by the slain journalist’s elder brother, Karamullah Mahar, against six nominated accused and nine facilitators in the murder.

They said that Karamullah had suspected Sher Mohammad aka Sheral Mahar, Naseer Mahar, Qurban Mahar, Roshan Mahar, Gulzar Mahar and Mir Muhammad alias Meru Mahar of involvement in his brother’s murder.

He had named the facilitators as Sher Mohammad aka Sheral Maher, Munawar Mahar, Bakhsh Ali aka Bakhshu Mahar, Babar Mahar, Mohsin Mahar, Jamaluddin Mahar and Sachal Mahar and three unknown persons, said police, adding they had mounted a hunt for the murder suspects and their facilitators.

JIT formed to probe the murder

The Home Department has formed a seven-member Joint Interrogation Team (JIT) to probe the murder of the senior journalist. The team consists of Sukkur SSP (chairman), and representatives of ISI, MI, IB, Pakistan Rangers, FIA, Special Branch of Sindh Police as members, according to the notification.

It said the JIT might seek assistance from any other agency or department if required, complete the investigation within 30 days and submit its report to the department within a week after the end of the probe period.

IGP forms committee

Inspector General of Police Ghulam Nabi Memon formed a committee on Wednesday to supervise the investigation into the journalist’s murder in Sukkur on Aug 13.

The committee led by Karachi Driving License DIG Tanveer Alam Odho and comprising Sukkur SSP Sanghar Malik, Khairpur SSP Mir Rohail Khoso, Gambat ASP Nauman Zafar and acting Sukkur CTD SP Abdul Qudoos Kalwar would make “all possible efforts to probe the case using all available resources and exploring all angles, and arrest the accused involved as soon as possible”.

According to an order issued by AIGP Operations Capt Haider Raza, the committee would also ensure that all forensic and technical/digital evidence was properly collected, recorded and verified within the requisite timeframe ensuring proper chain of custody.

Besides, it would also trace all ocular evidence and record statements under Section 164 to ensure foolproof investigation.

The body has been directed to seek advice from public prosecutor for admissibility of collected evidence. The committee had also been asked to provide progress of the case to the IGP after every three days.

Journalists continue protest

Several media organisations took out a procession and staged a demonstration here on Wednesday in protest against the murder of the senior journalist in Sukkur on Aug 13.

The protesters carrying banners and placards marched on M.A. Jinnah Road before assembling at Market Chowk where they held a demonstration. They raised slogans against government and urged higher authorities to ensure immediate arrest of the culprits.

The protesters’ leaders Qamaruddin Shaikh, Malak Abdul Ghaffar, Nazir Ahmed Chandio, Suhail Ahmed, Ismail Khilji and others condemned the murder and deplored that the government had failed to provide safety to media persons. Terrorists were targeting journalists without any fear, they said.

They demanded Sindh IGP ensure immediate arrest of the killers and serve justice to the bereaved family. A reasonable amount as compensation be announced for the journalist’s heirs, they said.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2023

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