Pakistani clerics thrash journalists for drinking water during Ramzan fast

The crew of the news TV channel in Pakistan's Islamabad was beaten up by Muslim clerics at a mosque and their camera equipment was also broken. Their crime -- a crew member allegedly drank water inside the mosque.

By: Express Web Desk | Published:June 21, 2017 2:11 pm
ramadan, ramadan 2017, reasons to celebrate ramadan, traditions during ramadan, significance of ramadan, indian express, indian express news During Ramadan, people offer evening prayer at a mosque. (File/Picture for representation)

The crew of a news TV channel in Pakistan’s Islamabad was beaten up by Muslim clerics at a mosque and their camera equipment also broken. Their crime — a crew member allegedly drank water inside the mosque during fasting hours. Currently, the Islamic month of Ramzan is under way during which Muslims abstain from food and water from dawn to dusk.

A report in The Express Tribune on Wednesday said the crew was of Pakistan’s Din News channel that had come to cover an event. The cameraman named Rashid Azeem visited the nearby Haqqania Masjid to offer afternoon prayers.

The report said Rashid was performing ablution in the mosque when the cleric confronted him. He questioned why Rashid wasn’t fasting during Ramzan and drinking water instead. After both got into a spat, Rashid’s crew members came to the mosque to his rescue and this led to a commotion.

Rashid said the crew took out their cameras to record outside the mosque and it enraged the clerics and students. They thrashed Rashid and broke his camera.

The report said the clerics allegedly prevented other journalists who were in the vicinity to not shoot the scene. It cited eyewitnesses saying the clerics, after taking photographs of the Din News crew members, threw stones at their news van.

The news crew escaped from the location and took refuge at the nearby Margalla police station and filed a complaint. Two clerics from the mosque went to the police and admitted that they broke the camera of the crew. They said the squabble began when they tried to stop the crew from drinking water during fasting hours.

“They were not observing fast and I tried to stop them,” head cleric Israrullah told Margalla SHO Ilyas Mekin, according to The Express Tribune report. He told the police that after the commotion inside the mosque the crew went to offer prayers and he went outside to the market and upon returning found the lot beating his brother.

“When my brother stopped them, they manhandled him and started beating him. When I saw this I took their camera and smashed it,” he said.

The crew refused the clerics’ claim that they drank water and said that the clerics were not in the right to assault them and smash their equipment. Both the crew and the clerics have filed complaints against each other. Around 10 unidentified suspects were booked on the TV crew’s complaint on counts of issuing threats, damage to property and wrongful confinement.

The report cited officials as saying that both sides can be booked–the clerics for assault and the crew for breaking the Ramzan sanctity law. Pakistan has a Ramzan sanctity law called the Ehteram-e-Ramzan Ordinance which, among other things, bars eating or drinking food, water or any edible consumable in public during Ramzan fasting hours. The law carries a punitive element as well which entails a monetary fine as well as imprisonment for up to three months.

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  1. R
    Jun 22, 2017 at 1:39 am
    We should put Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal and VHP in cage match with these guys.
    1. A
      Jun 21, 2017 at 10:43 pm
      mula ne ala ko, bula k mila. mula ola cab ko bula k, ala ko hila k, ola cab me dala. mula bola, ala kela kha, or so ja. nhi soya to, rula rula k, hila hila k, kela dal dunga. fir tu chilla chilla k, rula rula k, sula dunga. fir, mula andr me kela dala. ala jor se chilla chilla k, dur bhaga. ala k peeche mula bhaga. mula bola, ala lafda kia, so ala me, hila hila k, do do kela dala. ala bola, mula mula- kela or agey dalna. fir mula ne ala ko, rula rula k sula dala.
      1. K
        Jun 21, 2017 at 9:45 pm
        uncivilised community as it is they drink and eat twice normal diet but not infront of each other not a single muslim through out islam world fasts had mullas been on fast they would have been polite and instructive any violation could be confronted with truth and logic of which muslim are devoid... rather surrender every thing to almighty fasting is simply control your self mind and soul but it is all reverse .. more violence more luxury more killings and namaz a stone throwing session all over muslim world simply drama and thrust muslim blind faith and flase mind set on others
        1. M
          Mohammad Dar
          Jun 22, 2017 at 1:04 am
          Hog wash of a hog of hinduism immorality, talking of civility, but living in hindu filthy gutter of hindrance to truth hinduism illegality as a faith, civility is a product of following of the limit of the truth, hyenas of hinduism racism as a faith, prac ioners of hindu out law manifesto of hinduism illegality have none, but hindus uncivilized by faith, pretending to be human being.
          1. R
            Jun 22, 2017 at 1:42 am
            Uncivilized eh? More uncivilized than worshiping a COW? More uncivilized than drinking the same cow's ? Before you point fingers at ANYONE ELSE ANYWHERE in this WORLD, LOOK IN THE MIRROR.
            1. R
              Jun 22, 2017 at 1:45 am
              Correction: Line 2: uncivilized than drinking the same cow's... Should read: the same cow's U-R-IN-E.
          2. A
            Jun 21, 2017 at 8:34 pm
            Welcome to pakistan!!! Enjoy..
            1. S
              Sanjay Lod
              Jun 21, 2017 at 7:39 pm
              s: /document/d/1B3iHtREAdOxj7xkYTsSefVDtQQpY5D6KqjEzly_oDJg/edit?usp sharing s: /plzdsRNTXYc s: /JNK0LKeYGlU
              1. V
                Jun 21, 2017 at 7:37 pm
                This is no news
                1. I
                  Jun 21, 2017 at 6:52 pm
                  PA-KI MUSLIMS do not allow anyone to "drink water or eat" in front of them during RAMZAN because ALL-AH is very "weak.. ...................... If ALL-AH was strong then ALL-AH would have either stopped NON-BELIEVERS from eating during RAMZAN or given MUSLIMS the power to withstand TEMPTATION of SEEING others eating or drinking.
                  1. P
                    Jun 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm
                    Only 3 months punishment? The unfaithful should be done to death for the blasphemy.
                    1. Y
                      Your Father
                      Jun 21, 2017 at 7:44 pm
                      then you must be beaten to death
                      1. T
                        the sane
                        Jun 21, 2017 at 9:24 pm
                        paki brother u watch out your backside in your country instead of commenting here ... and please find your father here and no where else
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