Bodies of 7 abducted miners found in Quetta
QUETTA: The police recovered the bodies of seven coalmine workers who were kidnapped on July 7 from the Degari area on Thursday. The deceased were identified as Muhammad Nawaz, Din Muhammad, Khan Muhammad, Ahmedullah, Kashir Khan, Muhammad Akbar and Abdul Ahmed. The victims belonged to different villages of Swat district. Hundreds of coalminers, carrying the bodies of their seven colleagues, protested in front of the Balochistan High Court (BHC) building at the time when Chief Justice Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was presiding over the hearing of the Balochistan law and order case.
The coalminers, joined by the activists of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), strongly protested and demanded the arrests of killers involved in the gory incident. The angry protesters also attempted to barge into the BHC premises, but the police intercepted them and stopped them. However, one of the protesters pelted a stone, injuring SP City Muhammad Tariq.
The protesters chanted slogans against the Balochistan government and termed it a “spineless” government and demanded it to step down for the larger interest of the province as it had failed miserably in providing security to citizens in the province. The protesters appealed to Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to take action on the case.
Since the kidnapped victims were abducted, coalmine labour unions approached the Balochistan government and law enforcement agencies for the early and safe recovery of the ill-fated coalminers. But the authorities in Balochistan had failed in recovering the kidnapped victims, Aseel Khan, a coalmine worker, who was protesting outside the BHC building along with hundreds of others, told media persons.
On the other hand, when the chief justice came to know about the killing of seven miners and demonstration being staged outside the court building, he told IG Police Balochistan Tariq Omer Khitab the fact that people were standing outside the court building meant the police had failed in protecting them.
When Home Secretary Naseebullah Khan Bazai was asked about the people protesting outside the court, he told the court that the protesters were coalmine workers. When the CJ was informed that the deceased were Pakhtuns, he remarked that it would lead to hatred.
Taking notice of the killings, the chief justice ordered the police chief to submit a report of the killings within three days and arrest those involved in the killings of coalmine workers. The protesters dispersed peacefully when they were informed that the chief justice had taken notice of the killings. Later, the bodies of the deceased were dispatched to their native villages in Swat district.
Condemning the killings, IG Frontier Corps (FC) Maj Gen Obaidullah Khattak said the incident was a challenge to the writ of government in Balochistan. “Inhuman activities should be stopped; otherwise the terrorists will be dealt with sternly,” the IGFC said.
APP adds: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf strongly condemned the kidnapping and murder of mine workers. The prime minister expressed sympathy with the bereaved families assuring them that criminals would be apprehended and brought to justice.
In separate incidents of bloodshed in Balochistan, two persons were killed while another received injuries in Jaffarabad.
Unidentified armed men riding a motorbike opened fire at one Rahmat Ali in Killi Gew Kirani Road area in Quetta, killing him on the spot. Meanwhile, a beggar was shot dead in the Kashmirabad near Saryab area of the provincial capital. According to police, the victim was identified as Bula and was begging in the area when armed assailants on a motorbike opened fire at him, killing him on the spot. Police also found a decomposed body in Notal area. The identity of the dead could not be ascertained.