LDA guards beat up journalists trying to protect woman from violence


LAHORE: Security guards of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) attacked the staff of the Dunya TV channel when they tried to rescue an elderly woman (an ex-LDA employee) from being beaten by the guards at the LDA Building on Egerton Road on Friday.
Fouzia, a teacher sacked from the LDA School in Johar Town, had approached the LDA along with court orders for her reinstatement. She was trying to meet the LDA’s top brass when security guards headed by Sohaib Abdul Rehman began beating her up. TV journalist Taha Siddiqui, who was visiting a bank in the same building, tried to save the victim but was also attacked by the security guards for doing so.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Siddiqui said that when the guards learnt that he worked at a private TV channel, they started beating him more. He said that after the TV channel’s team reached the scene, the guards broke the TV equipment and also started beating other journalists.
Siddiqui said that when the guards saw that other media teams were also reaching the spot, they dragged Fouzia back into the building and closed the door. Police reached the spot and Rescue 1122 teams took Fouzia away for medical treatment.
Police has taken guards Sohaibullah, Nawazish Ali, Abdul Waheed, Faisal Sultan, Imdad Hussain and Yasir into custody. Physiatrist Javed Mirza said that violence was common but thrashing a helpless woman and journalists in the centre of the city showed that the hearts and minds of some people had turned violent.
“Torture contravenes the inherent dignity of a person. By torturing, police and others violate the fundamental rights enshrined in articles 4, 9 and 14 of the constitution. Pakistan has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” he added.
Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif had taken notice of the issue and ordered an inquiry into the incident, the CM’s Press Secretary Shoaib Bin Aziz told Pakistan Today.
Senior Punjab Minister Raja Riaz said that it was a very unfortunate incident and he would ask the CM to take notice of the issue. He said that action would be taken against the LDA officials concerned. Till 11:10 last night, the police refused to register a case unless the names of the LDA’s director general and Admin Director’s names were dropped from the complaint.
A protest was registered outside the Civil Lines Police Station and on the Mall by a number of journalists demanding the registration of the FIR.