ISLAMABAD: “A journalist working as a sub-editor for a local daily in Islamabad was shot dead by unidentified attackers on Thursday midnight, while he was present in a high-security zone of Rawalpindi,” informed the police.
Anjum Muneer Raja, 40, was on his way to home from work at an Urdu newspaper Qaumi Pukaar when the incident occurred. He was at Bank Road in the jurisdiction of Civil Lines police station, just minutes away from GHQ, the Pakistani military’s national headquarters when the unknown gunmen opened fire on him.
Police officials told the media that Raja, who was commuting on a motorcycle himself, died on the spot when he was hit by six bullets in his neck, torso and head.
“The gunmen fled the scene after murdering the journalist, leaving behind six spent bullet casings fired from a 9mm pistol. The manner in which the murder was carried out indicated that it was an incident of targeted killing,” said Civil Lines DSP Kazim Naqvi.
He further said that the police had shifted the victim’s body to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital after being alerted to the incident and that the body had been handed over to the relatives after a postmortem.
The officer said that the police have also written to the army for obtaining CCTV footage of the killing since Bank Road is a high-security area where several hotels and offices are located in addition to the GHQ. he said that initial investigation pointed towards personal enmity, however, the police are inspecting the matter from all angles and the investigation will proceed further once the footage is received.
A First Information Report (FIR) of the incident has been registered on a complaint made by the victim’s maternal uncle, Tariq Mehmood.
While speaking to a local news channel, Tariq expressed his shock at the fact that his nephew was murdered in a highly secured area where the army was present. He said that his nephew did not have a personal enmity with anyone and termed the killing as ‘terrorism’.
He said that Raja was a hardworking father of a five-year-old boy. He used to teach at a school in the mornings and laboured as a sub-editor in the evenings to make ends meet.
Raja’s murder was condemned by the journalist community. They demanded that the murderers be arrested without delay, as well as, protection for all journalists. Journalist groups also threatened to resort to protests if Raja’s killers are not caught soon.