Journalist Shahid Mirza has narrowly escaped an attempt on his life at his office for writing an article against the “illegal” construction of a plaza in his daily.

Thothal police have booked 21 accused including Wasif Amin under sections 337, 452, 147, 148, 427 and 511 PPC for thrashing the editor and ransacking the office located at Shaheed Chowk in Mirpur. The police said the victim had been admitted to Kashmir Institute of Cardiology in the city after he fell unconscious following the attack by the attackers who were protesting against the writer.

Led by Wasim Amin, the protesters belonging to a prominent political family allegedly stormed into the office and thrashed Editor Shahid Mirza besides damaging the office furniture. The attackers whisked the editor to outside the office and blackened his face. They also strived to set his face ablaze, the victim told journalists at the hospital.

Meanwhile, a large number of journalists staged a protest demonstration in Mirpur against the attack. Led by Kashmir Press Club President Syed Abid Hussain, Secretary General Sajaad Jiraal, ex presidents Hafiz Muhammad Maqsood and Muhammad Amin Butt, the journalists marched through the Press Club Road, Mian Muhammad Road, Allama Iqbal Road and Shaheed Chowk chanting slogans against the incident. They demanded early arrest of the accused.

Later, a meeting at the Kashmir Press Club condemned the incident and termed it attack on the freedom of expression and the press. The speakers said that the trend of violence against the freedom of expression would be strongly resisted and thwarted.

“If the accused are not arrested, the Press Club will be constrained to adopt future course of action,” they said. They called for stringent measures by the government to ensure protection of the journalists who dared to write in truth unveiling the true picture of injustice and wrongdoings. The rally later dispersed peacefully.