At least 10 labourers working on the Dera Bugti-Sui Road were abducted by a group of armed men near Sui during the early hours of Thursday.
A Dera Bugti district police officer confirmed the kidnapping, adding that police and security forces have launched a manhunt in the area for the safe recovery of the labourers.
The labourers were sitting in tents, pitched along the road under construction near Sui, when a group of armed men abducted 10 of them at gunpoint.
“A few labourers were left behind as they were sitting inside another tent,” official sources said.
Among the kidnapped, eight were Sindhi-speaking labourers belonging to Sadiqabad, one from Quetta and one local Bugti tribesman. Local sources, however, put the figure at 13.
The Security forces and Police launched a search operation in the area but were clueless about the whereabouts of the kidnapped men.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Meanwhile, disappointed by inaction on part of the government and security agencies, desperate parents of young kidnapped workers of the Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP) set up a fundraising camp at the Mezan Chowk in Quetta on Thursday.
The camp expects to raise the $2.5 million demanded by kidnappers as ransom for the safe release of their loved ones.
On December 13, 2011, a group of armed men – allegedly militants from Waziristan – kidnapped six officials of the BRSP, including a watchman and a peon from Pishin. The kidnappers beheaded 30-year-old Maqbool Ahmed and dispatched a video of his killing to the BRSP and his parents in February. The other kidnapped persons were Mujeebur Rehman, Bashir Ahmed, Bor Mohammad, Abdul Ghaffoor and Aftab Ahmed.
“Yes, I did receive the video but the kidnappers are yet to send the body of my son. They last contacted me on February 23 and said they had beheaded my son as I failed to pay the ransom money,” 62-year-old Din Mohammad told The Express Tribune. “Although my son was ruthlessly slaughtered, I am still sitting at this camp to help my friends.”
BRSP Chief Executive Officer Nadir Gul said it was impossible for his organisation to pay such a huge amount in ransom. “This is a local non-governmental organisation. The staff of the BRSP gave their one month’s salary but it is still not enough,” he said.
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Nasebullah Bazai pledged: “Law enforcing agencies are making their utmost effort to trace the kidnappers.”
However, no breakthrough was evident in the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.