A staffer of a Pakistani TV news channel was thrashed by clerics at a mosque in Islamabad for not fasting and drinking water in the mosque during Ramzan, a report in Pakistani English daily The Express Tribune says. The clerics also broke down the equipment of the news channel. 

The incident took place when Rashid Azeem, a staffer of Din News, was covering an assignment along with his colleagues in Sector F-8 area of the capital. While on assignment, Azeem went to  a local Haqqania Masjid to offer afternoon prayers.

According to Azeem, he was performing ablution when he was confronted by a cleric in the mosque, asking him why he was drinking water in Ramzan and not fasting. Denying that he drank water, Azeem got into an argument with the cleric. Soon after, other colleagues came inside the mosque who then started shooting the confrontation. 

However, this angered the clerics and their students and all of them pounced upon Azeem and snatched camera equipment of his colleagues, the report added. The clerics also threatened other journalists from recording the incident. 

The Express Tribune’s reporter was also threatened with violence for recording the altercation.

Not only this, the clerics also took photos of all the Din News staffers and chased their car with stones. Running for their lives, the crew took refuge in a nearby police station and filed a complaint against the clerics. 

While the clerics have acknowledged that they assaulted the crew member, they have accused Azeem of first assaulting one of the cleric’s brothers. Both have filed complaints against each other. 

Police has identified 8-10 people involved in the incident but made no arrests so far. 

Feature image source: Reuters/Representational Image