SUKKUR, Oct 27: Newsmen from all over Sindh on Sunday converged on Kandhkot city to pay homage to their colleague, late Shahid Soomro, who was recently shot dead.
Over 1,000 journalist from Thatta to Kashmore gathered here on the call of the Sindh Journalists Organisation to finalize legal strategy in the murder case.
Representatives of the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan as well as the presidents and the general secretaries of press clubs, including those of Thatta, Hyderabad, Badin, Daharki, Sukkur, Larkana, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Nawabshah and Naushero Feroze attended the meeting.
The participants of the meeting offered Fateha for the departed soul of Shahid Soomro.
Then Zahid Soomro, the son of Shahid Soomro, thanked the audience for expressing their solidarity with the bereaved family. The three-year-old boy, in a moving style, vowed to follow in the footsteps of his father, who he said had laid down his life for freedom of expression.
The convener of the Sindh Journalists Organisation, Ali Hassan, criticised the police for not pursuing the case in a proper manner besides making attempts to hush up the case.
He said that this case was a cause for concern to all democracy-loving people of Pakistan, including the members of the newly-elected National Assembly.
He called upon the police to frame charges against the accused within the 14-day mandatory remand period, saying there were reports that the accused were being provided all facilities in the lock-up.
He also urged the police to expedite efforts for the recovery of weapons and the vehicles used in the crime.
He also called upon the authorities to award exemplary punishment to whosoever had committed the crime.
He said all international journalists’ organisations, the HRCP as well as President Musharraf had been informed about the incident.
He said that the past year over 250 journalists had laid down their lives all over the world in the line of duty, adding that Shahid Soomro had been killed for exposing the evils of the feudal system.
Later, a large rally was taken out, which terminated at the office of the Town Police Officer.
Representatives of the journalists held talks with the police officials about the causes of the delay in finalisation of the case.
They also visited the Shahid Soomro’s grave and offered Fateha there.
The meeting of the Sindh Journalist Organisation, later, called for adequate compensation to Shahid Soomro’s bereaved family.
The meeting also decided to form a panel of prominent lawyers of Sukkur to contest the murder case.
The majority of the speakers, including Ahmed Panhwer, Farooq Soomro, Mahesh Kumar, Niaz Ahmed Panhwer and Lala Asad Pathan, assured the bereaved family of full financial, legal and moral support.
Adds Hyderabad Bureau: A large number of activists of the Awami Tehrik and the Sindhi Tehrik observed a token hunger strike here on Sunday against the murder of a Kandhkot journalist, Shahid Soomro.
Talking to newsmen at the hunger strike camp, AT chief Rasool Bux Palejo termed the murder of Soomro an attack on the freedom of expression and held the establishment responsible for the murder.
He said the establishment wanted to transform the country into a tribal state and underlined the need for uprooting the tribal system.
Expressing solidarity with newsmen, Palejo said activists of the AT and the other democratic forces were prepared to struggle for the freedom of the press and expression.
A leader of the Sindhiani Tehrik, Ms Nazeer Qureshi, vowed to fight against the tribal terrorism, terming it an enemy of the humanity. She deplored innocent women were being murdered in the name of Karo-kari.
She demanded judicial inquiry into the murder of Soomro and abolition of the tribal system.
Adds our Naushahro Feroze Correspondent: The journalists of Naushahro Feroze took out a procession on Sunday to protest against the murder of a Kandhkot journalist, Shahid Soomro.
Speaking on the occasion, representatives of the protesters demanded the arrest of the killers of Soomro.