by Gohar Abbas
Gilgit, May 26: Police came down heavily on local journalists protesting against unknown arsonists who tortured owner of the North News Agency and attempted to put the shop-cum-office on fire. North News Agency is the largest distributors of published material in Gilgit District, selling magazines, newspapers, maps and books. Journalists staged a protest demo against this attack and were stopped by the police. Brutal baton charge resulted in injuries to several journalists, with some hospitalized.
The arsonists, allegedly, attacked the news agency in protest against a news item published in the region’s sole daily newspaper, Daily K2. The daily had printed news regarding resignation call of Agha Rahat Al – Hussain Hussaini, Imam Juma wal Jamat of the Shia community, during a Friday sermon.
Qamar Zaman Kaira, the KANA minister, under pressure of the journalists of Skardu, ordered suspension of the police officials involved in this brutal attack on freedom of press n the region. He also promised the journalists at Skardu airport that those responsible will be brought to justice. Such promises, during the past, have not yeileded anything concrete.
It is pertinent to note here that journalists of Gilgit – Baltistan have been facing mental and physical torture at the hands of law enforcing agencies, as well as different political and religious organizations of the region.
Journalistic circles have condemned the incident and termed it illegal and immoral.