Rawalpindi police on Thursday registered a first information report (FIR) against personnel of Dolphin Force and five ‘imposter’ journalists for allegedly harassing female officers of Punjab Food Authority’s (PFA) Rawalpindi chapter.
The FIR was registered at Saddar Barooni police station on a complaint of Saima Akram, a food safety officer at PFA.
Akram in her complaint alleged that she along with four other members of her team had reached a bakery located on Adiala Road for inspection on Wednesday evening.
During the inspection, five people who claimed to be journalists working for Royal News (a private TV channel) and Khabrain newspaper accosted the PFA team and asked them to give a statement on camera and “illegally” started recording a video of them, the complaint read.
When the female officers, who were not accompanied by a security protocol, tried to exit the scene and sat in their official PFA vehicle, the alleged media personnel along with members of the Dolphin Force — an elite security unit — surrounded their car.
The media and security personnel attempted to open the car’s doors and knocked on the windows. The Dolphin Force personnel, meanwhile, allegedly supported the self-proclaimed journalists and forced Akram to give a statement to media representatives as to why she was conducting an inspection in the area, says the FIR, a copy of which is available with DawnNews.
A video obtained by DawnNews shows a Dolphin Force official telling a member of the PFA team that her vehicle will not be allowed to exit the area without them providing a verification to the media personnel about their identity. The PFA officer insists in the video that she did not need to provide any verification to media as she was travelling in an official PFA vehicle.
According to the FIR, the media personnel also did propaganda against PFA officials by inviting traders in the area to speak on camera. The team could not perform its functions due to being confined in the area for a long time, it says.
Akram has named five self-proclaimed journalists in the FIR, while Dolphin Force personnel have been mentioned in the complaint without specifying names.
Both Royal News and Khabrain newspaper have denied that the persons named in the FIR worked for their organisations.
City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi told DawnNews that a case has been registered against five allegedly imposter journalists under different sections, including Punjab Food Authority Act, 2011, for harassment, obstruction and other charges. Dolphin Force personnel have also been mentioned in the FIR.
Raids are being carried out to arrest the suspects, Abbasi said.