The families of the seven coal miners who were abducted on July 7 in the Sorange mining fields in Balochistan, and found dead in Degari area on Thursday, have demanded that concerned authorities bring the perpetrators to justice.
The relatives of the miners and members of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party staged a protest in front of the Swat Press Club after the victims’ bodies arrived in Swat. The families demanded that authorities initiate a comprehensive inquiry into the crime and take stern action against the Balochistan Liberation Army, which claimed responsibility for the incident.
“We are poor people and work in coal mines to earn a livelihood for our families. The kidnappers abducted my brother along with the other coal miners and I was shocked to receive his body. It is strange that poor people are killed as we have no enmity with anyone,” said Ghulam Hayat, the brother of Mohammad Akbar, one of the miners abducted and killed.
All the victims belonged to Malakand Division. Four out of the seven hailed from Bahrain, Swat Valley and worked for United Minerals, a private mine operator.
The families also demanded protection from the government. “We will carry on our protests till the abduction and killing of Pakhtuns is not stopped. We demand the government to immediately take measures to stop all violence against them. We also want the government and the mines department to compensate the families of the killed coal miners,” Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Swat President Khalid Mahmood said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2012.
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