Protest over missing Baloch students outside Sindh Assembly

Pakistani Shi'ite supporters of Imamia Students Organization (ISO) rise their hands as they chant slogans to condemn the Friday's blast at vegetable market in Quetta, during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan April 14, 2019. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

Karachi, Pakistan: Balochistan voice goes unheard to the Pakistan government, protest continues over missing students outside Sindh Assembly.

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, reported Dawn.

The activists were protesting against the alleged abduction of two Baloch students of the University of Karachi (KU) by law enforcement agencies.

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 have whisked away forcibly at night from their homes, which was “unacceptable”.

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, reported Dawn.

The authorities were negotiating with the protesters to persuade them to end their sit-in outside the assembly gate as the budget session is expected to take place on Monday evening.

The speakers at the protest said that people from the Baloch community had been subjected to “executive high-handedness” and questioned what their fault was, reported Dawn.

They said that if the missing 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 KU students 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, another demonstrator Aamna recalled a recent protest when several protesters were detained by the KPC as they attempted to proceed toward 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. She announced that the sit-in outside the assembly gate would continue till the release of the missing KU students and others, reported Dawn.

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