Seminary students ‘assault’ TV channel team for drinking water

ISLAMABAD: Students of the Madressah Haqqania beat up Din News employees, broke their camera and also threw stones at their DSNG on Tuesday.

Members of the team from Din News say the madressah management was involved in electricity theft and that they were beaten by the students because they were reporting on this.

The madressah management claims the journalists were drinking water during the day and that they were initially asked to stop and beaten when they continued to drink water.

A reporter of the channel, Ali Usman, told Dawn him and five other team members were assigned to interview Hussain Nawaz’ lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, on Tuesday.

He said one of the cameramen, Rashid Azeem, went into the madressah and poured water over his head to cool off. Some students asked him why he was drinking water and left when they were told Mr Azeem was pouring the water on his head.

“We saw that the madressah management was stealing electricity and one of the cameramen started recording,” he said, adding that some students then started beating Mr Azeem, breaking two of his teeth and taking his camera.

The team continued filming on another camera while students threw stones at the DSNG and took away cash and valuables from the team, he said.

A source in the madressah told Dawn the team were drinking water in the madressah but were allowed in as they said they wanted to offer prayers.

He said the newsmen started filming later, saying the management was stealing electricity, which the source said was not true. He said the newsmen were told to stop and leave repeatedly and that students beat them up when they started misbehaving.

A police official said both sides were called and their statements were recorded.

An FIR has been registered against the madressah management with the Margalla police.