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Police Gets the Better of Media (Mumtaz Qadri)

Posted by on Thursday, January 13, 2011, 11:37
This news item was posted in Breaking News, Pakistani News category and has 0 Comments so far .

Who had thought police would do it. Dodging television cameras in Islamabad has never been easy for any one. But they did it not once, but thrice. All that was needed was a sensitive issue.

Police Gets the Better of Media
Police Gets the Better of Media

The need to evade the eye of the cameras arose after the reception of the self-confessed assassin of the former governor of Punjab Salman Taseer at the Islamabad district courts.

Cameras had gathered in dozens at the premises of the district court. When Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri was showered with rose petals, it was broadcast live.

Some of the news photographers in all-out confusion tried to climb up the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) to take Qadri’s photograph.

“It was a mess,” said a senior police official. “After this drama, we decided to avoid media for our own reasons.”

It was apparent. The police did not want to glorify the murderer despite him being their ‘Peti Bhai’ (comrade).

They had their security concerns as well. Some of the police officials held the media responsible for the troubles former police chief of Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and his subordinates were facing in the Benazir Bhutto case. So they were cautious.

Outside Iqbal Hall in Sitara market, TV channel vans were stationed with cameras, waiting for Qadri to show up. But he never did.

The assassin was taken to the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi in a separate Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), having the electronic media go through the hassle of changing places. As a result, they were successful in reducing the number of media at the ATC.

Their first success encouraged and emboldened them. Their next move left the TV vans, also known as DSNGs, stunned.

The cameras were ‘blindly’ following Qadri. The news was that the police were taking him to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for examination. DSNGs started to camp at the hospital in the evening. At midnight, at least three ambulances and an APC showed up and rushed to Pims emergency.

Media followed blindly. Reporters were on-air within seconds giving details of what was going on in the emergency where Qadri was being ‘examined’.

Qadri, in fact, had already been shifted to the police station by that time after his examination early in the night. He was entered from a different gate, examined in the administration block in front of the Children hospital and then taken back from the same gate.

The ambulances that media focused and reported on were empty.

In another camouflage, the Kohsar Police station was given a look of a heavily guarded fort where the assassin was kept. He was removed from the police station after the first night, but certain DSNGs remained stationed outside the building.

In their last successful dart, the police produced the assassin before the ATC a day before the expiry of his physical remand. Media had never thought of it. When Qadri arrived at court premises, he would have been surprised. There were no cameras, no flashes.

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