Fishy business: PFF members block Mauripur Road as 3 men turn up dead

The fisherfolk claim that the land mafia killed two of their leaders.


Express May 07, 2011

KARACHI:


A pair of Awami National Party activists and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) leaders, Abdul Ghani and Haji Abu Bakar, was found dead on Thursday. A third fisherman had been killed earlier the same day.


Late on Thursday night unidentified men kidnapped and killed 45-year-old Moosa at Kakka village. He lived in the same area and was a fisherman by profession. An FIR No. 154/11 was lodged against suspects Haji Abu Baker, Aijaz, Ghulam Mohammad and Ishaq.

However, soon after the FIR was lodged, the bodies of Haji Abu Bakar and Haji Abdul Ghani were found at Sandpit beach. An autopsy at Civil hospital revealed that they had been beaten up badly and were then drowned in the sea. The victims belonged to the Yalghar group of the ANP.

A PFF spokesperson confirmed that the two men had been killed while a third, Aijaz, is still missing. Though it is suspected that the deaths were the result an internal dispute, the PFF has blamed the land mafia for the deaths.

The community has been campaigning against the cutting of mangroves and land grabbers since early this year. Recently, they have been fighting amongst themselves over allegations of being in cahoots with the land mafia.

News of the death of the two PFF leaders spread like wildfire. Unidentified armed men resorted to aerial firing. Fishermen and boat crews from Karachi Fish Harbour, Khadda, Lyari, Keamari and neighbouring islands blocked Mauripur Road near ICI Bridge. They tried to travel to the Kakka village but police cordoned off the entire road.

PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah and a large number of community activists were also at the demonstration. It was a peaceful rally and it ended once the bodies were taken to the hospital for post-mortems.

The fisherfolk warned that they would hold a huge rally outside CM House if the police failed to make arrests. A PFF spokesman said that the victims organised an event to celebrate the PFF’s 13th Foundation day at Kakka village on the day that they were killed.

He said that an FIR had been lodged against five suspects, including Haji Younus and his son, Zulfiqar Younus. The PFF have announced a three-day mourning period to condemn the killings and are planning a demonstration to press for arrests.

The PFF had launched a campaign against the land mafia to protect the mangrove forests near the coast and Kakapir village, in particular. On February 8, they held a march from Kakapir Village, Keamari, to the Karachi Press Club. They held a sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly where the deputy speaker, Shehla Raza, promised that the government would take care of the issue. She also said that they would take action against Haji Younus and his son who were alleged land grabbers. The PFF campaign was still going on when the attack on the two PFF leaders took place.

Fishermen in Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Sanghar, Qambar, Kashmore and Sukkur also held rallies. They shouted anti-police slogans claiming that it was the Mauripur police who failed to protect the community and then allowed the suspects to escape. They expressed anger over the fact that the culprits had chosen the PFF foundation day for the attack.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.

COMMENTS (2)

Sophia | 10 years ago | Reply I think 'fishy business' is a highly flippant and immature title for such depressing news.
a ercelan | 10 years ago | Reply Ghastly. For its resistance to those who will destroy fisherfolk livelihoods, PFF has earned the wrath of many powerful agents and agencies. We may know who fired the gun, but never know who supplied the gun, provided the bullet, and promised protection to the assassins. What we should also mourn is that so few of us have the courage to become shaheeds in the cause of resisting oppression.
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