Lahore Cops Thrash Journalists Covering TLP Protest

Scores of police personnel in Pakistan’s Lahore on Thursday attacked the photojournalists who were covering the demonstrations by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) supporters at Karol Ghati.

The photojournalists, who were documenting the protests, said that the police thrashed them and snatched their cameras. The police attacked senior photographers Sadaqat Mughal and Amjad Hussain and abused them, Pakistan’s Dawn reported.
Journalists in Lahore have demanded actions against Civil Lines SP Safdar Raza Kazmi.

They said the charged policemen also maltreated some other journalists when they stepped up to rescue their colleagues.

The Lahore Press Club (LPC) and other journalists’ union strongly reacted and condemned the incident.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, LPC president Arshad Ansari, secretary Zahid Chaudhry and vice president Salman Qureshi and other senior office-bearers demanded that the Punjab government take strict action against the police officials responsible for the “inhumane” act.

They said the police officials should be suspended from service and departmental action must also be taken against them.

The LPC body said the journalist community was performing duties in an odd situation taking risk of their lives and the police’s uncalled for action against them was a blatant violation of their fundamental rights.

The LPC office-bearers have appealed to the chief minister and IGP for action against the police officials.

The TLP is protesting against the arrest of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi, who was taken into custody earlier this week, and blasphemous caricatures published in France. The protests have turned violent and several casualties have also been reported.

The demonstrators have demanded that the French ambassador be sent home and import of goods from that country banned, as reported by Dawn.

According to media reports, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government signed an agreement with the TLP in November last agreeing to expel the French Ambassador.

The TLP launched a massive protest in November last year against the cartoons but dispersed after the agreement with the government to expel the Ambassador by February. The deal was extended until April 20. (ANI)

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