Editor attacked in Pakistan-administered Kashmir

On March 7, 2014, at least 20 assailants stormed the offices of Chingari, an Urdu-language daily based in Mirpur, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to local reports and local press freedom groups, including the Freedom Network and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists. 

The attackers dragged the paper’s editor, Shahid Mahmood Mirza, out of his office and beat him with sticks, the reports said. Mirza told news media that he was doused in oil but that the assailants fled before they could light him on fire. The editor fell unconscious after the attack and was taken to a local hospital, the reports said.

The assailants also destroyed the outlet’s equipment, broke windows, and shattered office furniture, the reports said.

Mirza told local journalists that the attack was a result of his recent report that alleged that the construction of a nearby plaza was illegal. 

Reports cited eyewitnesses and journalists who said that the attackers were led by a member of a politically powerful family in the region. Police said they had filed a case against more than a dozen individuals in connection with the attack, according to news reports. No arrests have been made, the reports said.