Wednesday, 9 April 2014

IGP Azad Kashmir loses cool at press conference

Published 2014-04-09 08:03:25
MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Malik Khuda Bakhash Awan had to eat his words at a press conference here on Tuesday, after terming as personal a question about the murder of a woman who had been struggling to bring killers of her seven family members to justice.
The IGP had called a press conference to harp on about the measures police were taking to maintain law and order in the region.
However, when a journalist drew his attention towards Friday’s murder of a woman named Noshin Raja in Mirpur, who had met him in December last year and also the prime minister to apprise them of threats to her life and seek security, he (IGP) lost his cool.
“You have become personalised… She is not the only one in the world (to have been murdered). They had enmities and murders were committed from both sides. I am not much aware about this case. If you have a personal interest, then it’s something else,” responded the IGP.
However, as it was not enough, shortly afterwards, the IGP again hit out at the journalists, apparently because two of them were whispering.
“You should maintain discipline in your ranks as well. If you don’t want to listen, I am not eager either to speak (to you),” he said. On this, the journalists rose to their seats to leave the press conference, maintaining that they had come to cover concrete information and ask questions, and not to suffer insult.
“When people begging security of life would be killed, we would ask questions and this in no way amounted to being personal. We are journalists not constables,” a journalist told the IGP. Sensing the anger of the journalists, Mr Awan changed his tone and offered apologies to mediapersons.
“Please be seated. I offer apologies to you all,” he said, adding that he did not have any intention to annoy or offend anyone. “You all are wise persons and I am also IGP. When I have offered apology to you all, this issue should end here.”
Meanwhile, DIG (HQ) Dr Liaquat Ali also persuaded the journalists to sit in order to resume the press conference.
Later, the IGP said he wanted to put it on record that the major focus of his press conference was the murder of Noshin Raja and its investigations should be held on scientific basis.
“If someone from you (media) could volunteer himself, we will update him on the progress of this case. We will take personal interest in this case.”
“It’s a heinous crime and you have a right to ask me about its progress after a week.” He also vowed to cross check the investigations by Mirpur police through another team from here.

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