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Local councillor accused of torturing, detaining DawnNews reporter in Sheikhupura – Pakistan

A DawnNewsTV reporter who had gone to cover the alleged use of substandard materials in a sewerage project in Sheikhupura was allegedly subjected to torture and illegally detained in an office by a local general councillor

Describing the ordeal he went through, Sheikh told DawnNewsTV that the Sheikhupura Press Club had received a letter complaining that the sewerage system on Ghang Road had fallen apart and that the material being used for development work in some areas of the city on instructions of the general councillor is of substandard quality.

When the reporter and his team reached Ghang Road and started recording footage, Councillor Rai Mohammad Khan arrived there with his staff and without affording the journalists an opportunity of introduction, allegedly started beating them up and abusing them. While the cameraman managed to escape the scene, the councillor snatched Sheikh’s mobile phone and took him to his dera [office] in his vehicle.

At the dera, the DawnNewsTV reporter was allegedly repeatedly beaten with a cane and was later confined in the office of Local Government Chairman Amjad Lateef. Sheikh was freed after an hour when local journalists alerted the police.

A first information report of the incident has been registered, but police have yet to arrest any suspects.

Sheikh is currently being administered medical aid in the emergency ward of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Sheikhupura.

While talking to DawnNewsTV, Deputy Commissioner Arqam Tariq condemned the mistreatment suffered by Sheikh, and said that he had directed the police to conduct a “free and fair inquiry” into the incident.

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