After Sindh Police assurance Baloch protesters call off their sit-in temporarily

The protesters against the enforced disappearance of two Baloch students of Karachi University temporarily called off a sit-in in front of the Sindh Assembly last night after Sindh police assured them of recovery of the missing students.

A written agreement was reached between the protesters and Sindh Police. A four-member delegation of protesters will discuss the enforced disappearance of Baloch students and their recovery with CTD officials on Monday at 4 pm.

The meeting will be attended by Amna Baloch Organizer of Baloch Solidarity Committee Karachi, Sammi Din Muhammad Deputy Secretary-General of Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, two family members Mehnaz Baloch and Shirin Baloch.

It is worth mentioning that relatives and civil society organisations had set up a protest camp outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) for the last two days and on Sunday evening, they took out a rally from the KPC to the provincial legislature.

Several protesters, including women and children, removed temporary barriers erected by the police at Arts Council Chowrangi and managed to stage a sit-in outside the main gate of the assembly.

SSP Raza said the protesters claimed that two Baloch students at KU had allegedly been taken away by the police’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD). However, the CTD denied detaining any student.

Addressing the gathered crowd, relatives and activists said that two students of the KU’s Philosophy Department — Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch — were taken away from their home near Maskan Chowrangi in Gulshan-i-Iqbal on June 7 and their whereabouts were unknown since then.

They said if the two students were involved in any illegal activity then they should have been arrested by showing an arrest warrant; instead, they were whisked away forcibly at night from their homes, which was “unacceptable”.

The speakers at the protest said that Baloch people are being subjected to “executive high-handedness” and questioned what their fault was. They said that if the abducted persons were involved in any criminal activity and cases were registered against them then they should be presented in courts.

The protesters said that they had held demonstrations for the release of missing people but authorities had not acted on their demands.

They questioned what crime the two Baloch students of KU had been detained for and demanded their release as well as that of other missing persons.

One of the speakers, Saeeda Zehri, said that her father, Abdul Hameed Zehri, was taken away from Balochistan around 14 months ago and his whereabouts were still not known. She recalled that her family had met with intelligence agencies personnel who told her that her father was “apparently a nice person” and had no criminal record. She said she wanted to know why her father had been taken away when he was not involved in any criminal activity.

Meanwhile, Amna recalled a recent protest when several protesters were detained from the KPC as they attempted to proceed towards the chief minister’s house. She said the police had committed an “illegal action” at that time, adding that the police were demonstrating the same attitude today as well.

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