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Senior journalist waits for action against ‘attackers’

CHITRAL: Police have registered a first information report (FIR) against three laborers working on the under-construction Chitral-Booni road on the charge of physically assaulting and threatening senior journalist Gul Hamaad Farooqui.

However, no further action has been initiated against the nominated persons. 

According to the FIR, Faqooqui was returning home at Shahmiran Deh in Chitral town after covering ongoing work under the GLOF-II project in Reshun on November 11.
Near Kari, the traffic was blocked as work on the road was underway. According to the FIR, when Farooqui tried to make a video of the poor quality work, the Munshi (clerk) of the contractor, a resident of DI Khan, first asked him not to film it and then asked the laborers to “kill him.” 
It said one of the laborers, belonging to Upper Dir, hit the journalist in the face and snatched his mobile phone. He along with other laborers also hit him with an iron rod and a spade. 
The complainant said passengers at the site waiting for the opening of the road saved him from the attackers and also returned his mobile phone. The nominated persons also allegedly threatened to kill him if he ever tried to make video of their work.
The police stated that there was no evidence of threatening the applicant with murder or hitting him with an iron rod by the laborers.
The police registered the FIR under section 337A (ii) and 34 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). It said a process under 156-iii is being initiated and upon approval from court, further legal proceeding would started against the suspects after ascertaining facts.
Civil society activists have for long alleged substandard and poor quality work on the ongoing construction of the Chitral-Booni road and called upon higher authorities to take notice of the issue. Farooqui said he had also reported the alleged substandard work on the road along with civil society activists in the past.
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