KHAIRPUR: The station house officer (SHO) of the B-Section police station in Khairpur was on Monday booked in a terrorism case and suspended to face a departmental inquiry after protests in several cities over his alleged act of manhandling a media team earlier in the day.
Rallies and demonstrations were held by media personnel in Khairpur, Shikarpur, Badin, Mithi and some other towns to protest alleged manhandling of Khan Mohammed, a reporter and president of the local press club, and his companions, cameraman Fayyaz Shaikh and Jan Mohammed Narejo.
According to the media team, they visited the police station to seek details of a criminal case and during the course of the fact-finding process, SHO Mushtaq Ahmed Jatoi got offended by some ticklish queries.
The personnel at the police station caught hold of the three media men and snatched their mobile phones, professional video camera and other belongings, the team members claimed, adding that they were manhandled and injured before being locked up.
Sources said that the media men were let off only on the intervention of City ASP Rai Mazhar Iqbal. They were taken to the Khairpur Civil Hospital for treatment of their injuries. In the meantime, an FIR under certain sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) was registered against the media men.
The episode triggered spontaneous reaction from the journalist community in Khairpur, Badin, Tharparkar, Shikarpur and other cities where rallies and demonstrations were held against the B-Section police.
Media personnel took out a rally in Khairpur and held a demonstration at Mariam Taup Chowk, near office of the SSP. Speaking to the participants, their leaders including Lala Asad Pathan, Jan Mohammed Mahar, Ghulam Abbas Bhambhro, Mansoor Mirani and Sanaullah Memon demanded immediate suspension of the SHO, an inquiry be instituted against his unlawful actions and a case be registered against him.
Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) leader Amjad Mahesar, Sindh United Party leader Fayyaz Khamisani, Anjuman Tajiran-i-Khairpur leader Lala Abdul Ghaffar Shaikh and activists of various civil society, trade and labour organisations joined in the protest to express solidarity with the journalist community.
The demonstration continued until Khairpur SSP Fida Hussain Mastoi held negotiations with the protesters and constituted a five-member committee headed by Lala Asad Pathan.
The committee went into a long session at the SSP’s office and then announced that the SSP had accepted the journalist community’s four out of five demands.
Later, SHO Jatoi was suspended and booked under certain sections of the ATA and removed to the police line. The FIR against the three media men was also quashed.