Textbook pirates in Lahore

LAHORE, July 26: City police on Monday arrested "members of a gang involved in illegally publishing course books", including the novel 'Good Bye Mr Chips'. Police have also seized printing machines and thousands of pirated books. During initial interrogation, the accused told about two other presses where they were printing textbooks. Shahdra Police have registered the First Information Report (FIR), numbered 884/2007 under sections 420, 484, 485, 486 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and sections 66 and 67 of the Copyrights Act on a complaint by Ravi Town Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Inspector Muhammad Azam. Azam said Qamar Abbas and Nusrat Hussain from the Punjab Textbook Board and Commission (PTBC) said the owners of Arif Book Centre and Siraj Book Centre in Urdu Bazaar had set up a press with the help of a person known as Akif at Bund Road. Azam also stated in the FIR that Muhammad Imran, a proclaimed offender in a murder case, was also hiding in the press. After receiving the information, a police team conducted a raid at the place and arrested Zahid Mehmood operating at the press. Imran fled.

Police said they seized thousands of pirated books, including 6,300 copies of 'Good Bye Mr Chips', 8,800 class-9 English course books, seven bundles of science course books, 2,900 class-7 agriculture course books and thousands of other course books of various classes. Police have also seized printing material and machines. Police said Mehmood had identified other people involved in piracy, during initial investigation, following which the Shahdra Investigation Police raided Nazir Khan Printing Press and the Iqbal Printing Press at Bund Road. Investigation Officer Muhammad Anwar said the accused were members of a larger piracy gang involved in illegally publishing books and then selling them across the country. He said police were investigating the matter and would soon arrest the whole gang. Urdu Bazaar Traders Union President Khalid said the union did not help criminals and the "will not support people involved in piracy". Daily times



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