KARACHI - A reporter of an Urdu daily has been implicated by the police in a drugs and weapons case.

Accused Asad Ali’s family said that he was arrested on Wednesday for reporting on a case where police had allegedly released some drug peddlers extra-judicially.

The police however denied the accusation by the family and registered FIR 168/19 under sections dealing with possession of narcotics and weaponry. The FIR on behalf of Bahadurabad police officials claimed that the reporter was nabbed by police mobile during patrol on Shahrah-e-Faisal along with co-accused Afzal Jaffri.

The police had claimed that the two were part of a gang nabbed some days back and they had recovered strips of narcotics and two pistols from their possession.

The family however rejected the claim and said that the reporter was arrested for exposing police role in letting go some drug peddlers, who were arrested after a news report was published by the reporter.

“A news report by Asad Ali forced police to arrest culprits involved in distribution of ice drugs. Later, the criminals were let go by the authorities, which took bribe from them,” he said. The police trapped the reporter to divert attention from the case.

The incident occurred on the day of post-budget presser of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday where he took notice of police action of registering cases against journalists in parts of the province.

“We have just resent the police law to the governor after passage from the assembly and it will be assented within 10 days. After that I will personally pursue all these cases,” he said, adding that without the law, the police have become a force without accountability.

The Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) has strongly condemned the arrest of Syes Asad, a crime reporter.  In a statement, the KUJ said that Asad was a committed journalist who was actively exposing drug traffickers and unscrupulous police officials who were hand in glove with criminals. He was filing reports based on facts, but outlaws and their accomplices in the ranks of the police did not want these reports.

Ashraf Khan, KUJ president, and Ahmed Khan Malik, general secretary of the KUJ, demanded that the chief minister, home minister and the Sindh as well as Karachi police chief take notice of the incident.