There’s a sombre mood at the Bugti Bolak house in Defence Phase IV, where the family of Taleh Bugti is in mourning. His mother and three brothers, including the eldest Mir Aali, Zamraan and Kohi are grieving the death of their brother who was killed in a shoot-out at a party early Sunday morning.
Taleh Bugti’s uncle Fahad is sitting under a marquee in the house on Tuesday evening, where he and the brothers are receiving guests who are arriving in droves to offer their condolences. Fahad is the son of Ahmed Nawaz, who was the brother of the slain Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. Fahad and Taleh’s father Saleem Bugti were first cousins.
Fahad told The Express Tribune that Taleh died on the same day as his father did eight years ago, on June 26, 2003. “We were making preparations to commemorate his father’s barsi at home for Sunday, when the family learnt of Taleh’s death,” he said, adding that one could only imagine the pain that the young man’s mother was going through.
According to Baloch tradition, the mourning period varies between three, seven, nine and 11 days. They don’t hold soyems or chaleeswans (40 days after a death). In Taleh Bugti’s case, the family has set a mourning period of seven days.
Taleh’s family denies the police version of his death and says it is not based on facts at all. According to the First Information Report filed by the police on behalf of the State, at Gizri police station, the entire blame has been put on the deceased Taleh and all the people who accompanied him to the party, including his brother Zarmaan, cousin Zahid Butt, Umair Yusuf, Rehan Rajput, Ghaffar, Bilawal and six others. Police say that the young Bugti was trying to barge into the party organised by a man named Faisal. The security had been provided by Arif Raajar and his accomplices, Dr Iqbal, Kamran Gul alias Noon, Sameer Baloch, Waseem, Mushtaq, DJ Savvy, Ghayas and armed guards.
Fahad said that the FIR that has been lodged by the state does not bother the family since it was not based on any facts and would be taken care of by their lawyers. When asked whether they would lodge a separate FIR with their own version, he said: “We are Baloch. The Baloch do not lodge their FIRs. They take revenge.” They know who their enemies are.
They have no hope in getting justice from the state. He explained that like other relatives of the Bugti clan, even Taleh’s body could not be taken to their ancestral village in Dera Bugti because of the ongoing military operations. “Can’t you see how they treat us? Don’t you remember how Shahzain was arrested in Quetta by the FC? How would they allow Taleh’s body to go there?”
According to the family, Taleh, his brother Zamraan and his group of friends were invited by Raajar into the party, and all reports that the two had a history of clashes was untrue. They say he was sitting inside with a friend when a commotion broke out at the gate of the house on Khayaban-e-Rahat. Some people gatecrashed and one bald youngster pointed his pistol at Bugti’s friend. Taleh intervened and said, ‘Why are you pointing a gun at my friend? Don’t you know who I am?’ However, instead of lowering his weapon, the culprit shot and killed Bugti and ran away.
Fahad Bugti didn’t say who exactly pulled the trigger. “Who shot on who’s behalf is something one should look into,” he said. He was noncommittal when pressed on whether he thought it was Raajar or one of his guards who shot Taleh and only said “anything is possible”. He said that one could not rule out the element of conspiracy. A close family friend at the Bugti House told The Express Tribune that the party had been arranged by Faisal a.k.a. Patakha (firecracker), who was one main members of the notorious Pir Shahani gang. Shahani has been on the run in a separate case for years and had formed a “burger gangster group called Smokerz” in Defence.
Sources said that the fugitive in this case, Arif Raajar, is a known thug, who draws his support from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, although the party has denied having any links with him. According to the close family friend, he’s a notorious land grabber and has allegedly taken over many apartments in Badar Commercial area.
Editor’s note: Earlier reports on this case spelt the name ‘Taalay’ Bugti. This is incorrect. The proper spelling, according to the family, is Taleh.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2011.