PPF remembers journalists Muhammad Imran and Tahir Awan, killed during professional duty

On 4th day of January 2009 Muhammad Imran from Daily Aitadal and Tahir Awan , a freelance reporter for the Apna Akhbar newspapers were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Government Polytechnic College in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On 4 January at around 18:55, a hand grenade was thrown in front of Polytechnic College, where Frontier Corps had established a checkpoint to maintain security during Muharram. After the grenade’s explosion, police and forensics officers arrived at and began examining the site. Both journalists were on the site when a suicide bomber between 15 and 18 years of age, blew himself up, detonating 10 to 15 kilograms of material, according to the media reports.  Ten people, including four police men and two journalists, were killed while 28 were injured out whom, most were police officers.  The injured were brought to District Headquarter Hospital. Some people reported hearing shots fired on the Edhi ambulance when it was taking journalists to the hospital.

Ahmed khan kamrani, President Dera Ismail Khan remembers the journalists as hard working, young and passionate. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed the responsibility. Dera Ismail Khan’s journalist community still remembers their colleagues.

Zeeshan, brother of Muhammad Imran informed PPF that his brother died in the line of his professional duty. Government of Pakistan compensated them with amount of Rupees 1 Lac.

Muhammad Irfan Mughal, editor Daily Aitadal remembers Muhammad Imran as young, passionate and hardworking journalist.

We lost a diamond, Irfan added.

The then administration of Pakistan condemned the attack including President Asif Ali Zardari who called it cowardly act of terrorism, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who asked for timely investigation of the blast and directed the hospital authorities to provide the best possible treatment to the victims. Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti and Emir of Jamat-e-Islami Siraj ul Haq have also condemned attack. Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Owais Ahmed Ghani said, “Elements behind this inhuman and un-Islamic act would be brought to justice”.