SIALKOT-The police have added an Anti-Terrorism Act clause to the murder case of Sambrial-based journalist after a week of the perpetration.
Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Asad Sarfraz Khan told the newsmen that the police have included 7-ATA clause to the murder case and now it would be tried in the Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) Gujranwala.
To a question about the failure of police in arresting the accused, the DPO replied that three special police teams, led by Sialkot SP (Investigation) Amjad Javaid Qureshi, DSP (CIA) Sialkot and DSPs of Sialkot and Sambrial, are raiding various places to ensure the early arrest of Union Council Begowala Chairman Imran Aslam Cheema, who had allegedly shot dead journalist Zeeshan Ashraf Butt in Begowala, Sambrial tehsil a week ago.
The addition of of 7-ATA clause to the FIR is the only development in the case yet. The DPO however assured the grieved family of speedy justice bringing all the negligent police officials to task for their slackness as proved from the phone calls recording.
Earlier, the Begowala police had registered the murder case (No.64/2018) against Aslam and his armed companions on the report of slain journalist's brother Luqman Butt Under Sections 302, 148 and 149 PPC.
On the other hand, the police remained unable to arrest the accused. The police are facing very strong criticism from all the segments of life for remaining failed in arresting politically influential accused.
The local police officials also remain unable to tell any solid reason behind the police failure in arresting the accused. The grieved family and the protesting journalists have expressed grave concern over this inordinate delay in the arrest of the accused. The family urged Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to provide them with justice besides directing Sialkot police officials to ensure early arrest of the accused.
Zeeshan's father Ashraf Butt told the newsmen that the police had also taken the mobile phone data of Zeeshan into custody. He said that the mobile phone calls record revealed that Zeeshan first called Rescue 15 and sought help in saving his life from the accused who was continuously threatening the journalist to kill him. Later, he called the SHO of Sambrial police station and informed him about these life threats to him but the SHO took the matter very lightly, he said.
Later, he also called Chairperson Sialkot District Hina Arshad Warraich on her phone. He said, "Madam, I am Zeeshan Ashraf Butt, the correspondent of Daily Nawa-i-Waqt at Sambrial. I have come to Begowala Union Council to seek the details of some newly imposed taxes on shopkeepers by the union council. Union Council Chairman Imran Aslam Cheema wanted to kill me." When he delivered these words, some accused shot him dead during the mobile call.
This was the last telephone call of his life which journalist Zeeshan Ashraf Butt made to the DC chairperson, seeking help to save his life.
The grieved family urged Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to also bring to book the negligent officials of Rescue 14 Sialkot and SHO of Sambrial police station who did not take any serious notice of the mobile calls made by Zeeshan.
The clip of his last mobile telephone call made by him to chairperson Sialkot District Council Hina Arshad Warraich has gone viral on social media.
On March 27, 2018, the PML-N-backed UC chairman had shot dead Zeeshan in Begowala, Sambrial tehsil. The FIR revealed that the reason behind the brutal murder was an old political row.
Begowala police had registered the murder case (No 64/2018) against accused and his some other armed companions.
Meanwhile, the journalists in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur and surrounding areas continued agitation for the seventh consecutive day against the brutal murder and police failure to arrest the accused.
The protesting journalists wore the black arm bandages and staged sit-ins in their respective areas demanding immediate arrest of the accused.
Meanwhile, in their important meeting held at Sialkot Press Club Sialkot, the local journalists strongly condemned the brutal murder. They unanimously passed condemnation resolutions, demanding early arrest of the accused.
The meeting was told that the journalists in Punjab's all the main areas will lodge their strong protest against the brutal murder of Sambrial based journalist. They will also hold demonstrations and sit-ins Punjab's main cities areas to lodge their strong protest against this brutal murder on the appeal of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).