Two killed, four injured in firing at Khuzdar political rally


KHUZDAR: At least two Baloch political activists were shot dead and four others were seriously injured after security force opened indiscriminate fire on a protest rally of the Baloch Students’ Organization (BSO) in Khuzdar district on Friday.

According to the details, security forces opened fire on a protest rally of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO-Azad) which was intended to protest the recent killing of Baloch citizens in Karachi and the launching of a government-backed operation in the area.

As the BSO rally started from Government Degree College Khuzdar, security forces opened fire on the rally within a few minutes in order to disperse the protestors. Consequently, several protestors were badly injured. One of them, Ali Dost, succumbed to the injuries when he was shifted to the hospital for immediate medical treatment. The slain protestor was reported to be the younger brother of a leader hailing from the Balochistan National Party (BNP).

Similarly, another student of Balochistan Residential College (BRC), Saddam Hussain, was killed in the firing by the security forces in Gazgi area. Sadam was also a member of Baloch Students Organization (BSO).

Four protestors were injured in the firing. They were identified as Inayat Baloch, Farid Baloch and Wahab Baloch while the identity of the fourth protestor could not be established. The state of one protestor, Liquat Ali, was reported to be very critical. He was quickly shifted to a hospital in Karachi for timely treatment.

A representative of the Khuzdar chapter of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) held the Frontier Corps (FC) responsible for opening fire on the protestors. Likewise, the Balochistan National Party and Baloch Students Organization (BSO) said FC had resorted to violence against a peaceful democratic rally.

However, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps (FC), Murtaza Baig, told The Baloch Hal that the paramilitary force was neither deployed at Friday’s protest rally nor did it open fire on the protestors.

“The FC was not escorting the rally. There is no question about FC opening fire on the protest rally. We strongly refute such allegations,” he said.

Soon after the killing of two protestors, the situation in Khuzdar district further worsened as more people came on the streets to protest against the killings. All shops and markets in district were closed while protestors pelted stones on official buildings and private banks to vent their anger. Angry protestors torched a motorcycle parked in the local market. They staged a noisy protest rally in front of the district headquarters hospital and chanted slogans against the government and the security forces. They demanded of the international media and the human rights organizations to take notice of the alleged violation of human rights and freedom of expression in Balochistan.

Baloch political parties have called for three-day mourning against Friday’s incident.

Agha Hassan Baloch, central secretary information of Balochistan National Party (BNP), told The Baloch Hal that his party strongly condemned the incident and would organize Balochistan-wide protest rallies on January 18 against what he billed as the ‘excesses of the Frontier Corps against the Baloch people.”

Dr. Jhanzaib Jamaldini, the acting president of BNP, said killing of political activists had proved that the government was even uncomfortable with peaceful and democratic forces in Balochistan. Friday’s protest, he said, was intended to peacefully demonstrate against the government policies but the rally was disrupted by applying force.

“Such actions indicate that he provincial government in Balochistan is completely powerless. The province is in the control of the security forces that are now hard to control by the provincial government,” he told The Baloch Hal

Shahzaib Baloch, president of BSO Quetta zone, said his organization along with the Baloch National Front (BNF) would observe a complete shutter-down and wheel jam strike against the killing of two political workers.

The dead bodies of the killed political workers were handed over to their family members after the completion of required legal and medical formalities.

Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani has ordered a probe in the killings and the incident of firing in Khuzdar.

Source: The Baloch Hal

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