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Newspaper hawkers seek protection

KARACHI, March 21: Hawkers urged the government on Wednesday to take action against activists of a ‘political group’ who attacked their colleagues and burnt bundles of newspapers in different parts of the city earlier in the day.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Mohammad Iqbal Noon and other leaders of Anjuman Akhbar Faroshan threatened to take extreme steps if the government failed to protect their lives and property and demanded compensation for the losses suffered by hawkers.

“We approached the police authorities and the Rangers, but no one paid any heed to our request for security. If the situation does not improve, we will be compelled to suspend our business,” they said.

“A truck carrying newspapers was set on fire near the Sindh High Court building and its driver and other staff were beaten up,” Mr Noon said.

Such incidents, he said, were also reported from other parts of the city and a number of hawkers were warned against selling particular newspapers.

Mr Noon said if any political party or organisation felt that a newspaper was not giving due coverage to its activities, it should lodge a protest with the management of the media organisation concerned.

PPI adds: Meanwhile, Sindh’s Inspector General Police Mushtaq Ahmed Shah sought a report from Additional IG Karachi on the burning of copies of two newspapers.

He sought information about investigation into the attack on a van of a private TV channel and cutting of cables in different localities. He said security of journalists should be strengthened and their vehicles should be provided additional protection.