Prime suspect still at large in ‘well-planned murder’ of Kawish and KTN journalist Aziz Memon

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Karachi: A year after the death of KTN news channel and Sindh daily Kawish journalist Aziz Memon the alleged mastermind behind the “well-planned murder” remains at large.

Memon’s death in February 2020 had led to condemnations from the civil society and politicians alike leading to the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the murder. A year after Memon’s death, the prime suspect is yet to be taken into custody although five have been arrested.

On February 16, 2020, the body of the journalist was found in a water channel in Mehrabpur in the Naushahro Feroze district of the Sindh province. According to Dawn, Memon had asked a cameraman he worked with to drop him off at a location where he was to attend a ceremony. His body was later found in the canal by villagers.

In the wake of Memon’s death, federal minister Fawad Chaudhry had requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to “take notice of the mysterious death” of the journalist. Meanwhile, the PPP chairperson had also condemned the murder and added that journalists.

According to Dawn, Memon had “often received threats of dire consequences during his 30-year-long career”. One such threat was from a Member of the National Assembly, after which he left his hometown and moved to Islamabad for a while, the report said. Additionally, a year prior to his death, the journalist had released a video in which he said that officials from PPP, along with local police had threatened him for his reporting. Memon’s report had included the allegation that people had been paid to attend the PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s train march.

Following Memon’s death, a JIT was set up by the provincial government.  In April, Memon’s DNA report was released, which according to Dawn, had “found traces of some other human DNA”.  A month later, on May 30, Dawn reported that the JIT had reached its final conclusion that the case was a “well-planned murder”. Three suspects — Nazeer Sehto, Ameer Sehto and Farhan Sehto — had been arrested, however, the prime suspect, Mushtaq Setho, and four other individuals alleged to be accomplices were still at large.   In June, two more suspects — Zafar Sehto and Zulfiqar Sehto — were booked for Memon's murder and sent to jail on judicial remand.

Speaking to Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), the journalist’s brother Hafeez Memon said that a year has passed and yet the main culprit in the case has not been found. He said while the case is ongoing the main suspect has not been arrested. He added that in a meeting with the Hyderabad Regional Police Officer (RPO) in February he was told that this month the suspect would be arrested.

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