TOBA TEK SINGH: Toba Sadar police on Saturday booked a reporter and a cameraman of a private TV channel for “illegally” recording and broadcasting on social media the interviews of the three in-custody suspects in the murder and rape case of a girl, Maria. The prime suspect, Faisal, his brother and their father Abdul Sattar, have been arrested and are in police custody.

In the First Information Report (FIR), registered under section 155C of Police Order and sections 3 and 18 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016, complainant Station House Officer (SHO) Muhammad Hasan stated that the private TV channel’s reporter Rana Khalid Mahmood and cameraman Ali Ahmad violated the laws by recording video statements of the suspects in custody, without permission of the authorities concerned.

However, no arrest has so far been made in the case.

Meanwhile, the journalists’ organisations have expressed concern over registration of the case under PECA, saying it was beyond Punjab police’s domain to book any media person under the law.

They urged Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to take notice of the alleged violation of law by Punjab police and warned the government that journalists would be forced to stage protests if the “illegal” FIR against the two media persons was not quashed.

The TV reporter, Rana Khalid, claims his lawyers had filed his pre-arrest bail plea before an additional district and sessions judge (AD&SJ), who refused to hear it with the remarks that the cases under PECA should be heard by a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) court.

INJURED: A man severely injured a youth by chopping off his genitals over suspicion that the victim had relations with his (suspect’s) wife, at Mouza Dargahi Shah Wala, Jhang district.

According to Athara Hazari police, Manzar Abbas had suspicion that a local youth, Fayyaz had developed relations with his wife.

On Saturday, Abbas, with the help of his brother Zain, overpowered Fayyaz and chopped off his genitals with a chopper, leaving him critically injured. The injured youth was admitted to the DHQ hospital, while police have arrested both suspects.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2024

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