KARACHI: The battle of the provinces went beyond their usual water fight as an MPA accused the Punjab police of crossing into Sindh and arresting people on this side.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Heer Ismail Soho told the session on Thursday that the Punjab police had entered Sindh’s territory without warning or permission and raided villages near the border. The Sindh police had not been informed of these excursions, she said, adding, “I think this is a sensitive issue and the government needs to take note of it.” Such transgressions can damage the law and order of a place, Soho said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, MPA Heer Ismail Soho of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, said that around six people were killed by the Rahimyar Khan Police in four different incidents in the last four months.
She quoted an incident in which police set houses on fire and killed five people near Ubauro on April 4. “The [Punjab] police said that the people were involved in crime, but they carried out the raid without the permission of Sindh’s police,” she said. The victims belonged to the Kosh clan and two of them were identified as Jano and Dad Mohammed Kosh.
She said that another incident took place near Deharki where the Rahimyar Khan police asked two youngsters to sit in their mobile on February 2. Police said that the two persons had been wanted in different cases by them. When the alleged criminals refused to comply the police opened fire on them, killing them.
Heer further said that hundreds of acres of land in Sindh have been occupied by people of Pujnab “I fail to understand why our government is keeping silent over the issue.” The Sindh Assembly session started late despite Wednesday’s warnings. Speaker Nisar Khuhro was absent as his aunt had passed away and the session was chaired by Dr Sikander Mandhro. The meeting started with a prayer for Khuhro’s aunt.
Wildlife surveys and projects
The wildlife department’s comings and goings remained high on the assembly’s agenda. The inquiry committee formed by the chief secretary to investigate a turtle meat theft case by the wildlife department’s own employees submitted its recommendations. The three suspects, a junior clerk Bashir Ahmed Shaikh, driver Ghulam and guard Zarak Amin, were accused of stealing 130 kilogrammes of freshwater turtle meat from the department’s office on July 15, 2009. The investigative committee proposed that all three employees be removed from their duties.
According to the wildlife minister, Daya Ram, FIRs have been filed against them but they have been granted bail.
Responding to a question on thousands of turtles that were found dead downstream of Sukkur Barrage, the minister told the assembly that the turtles had died because people had thrown poison into the water. While sometimes these were attempts to catch more fish, others were hostile acts aimed at particular fish farms, the minister said. “Cases have been registered against those people,” he added.
The wildlife minister explained that the last survey on protected species was carried out in 2005. However, the department is clueless about the number of certain species, such as snakes, vultures, cranes, owls, the Houbara Bustard and the Sandgrouse.
“No survey has been conducted [on this] as yet but we have proposed a survey in the coming year,” he said.
The department plans to start a project in the Khirthar National Park. While the Sarhad Forest Game Reserve will be established in Ghotki at a cost of Rs71 million within the next three years. The reason behind the reserve is to protect the forest and save it from encroachments, said Ram.
MPA Nusrat Saher Abbasi brought up the issue of the teachers’ protest in the province, complaining that the government seemed to be ignoring their problems. “All schools in the province are closed, which is badly affecting the province’s education,” she pointed out, “We demand the government to resolve their problem at the earliest.”
Bills discussed, bills delayed
A bill for the Lyari and Malir Development Authorities (Revival and Amending Bill, 2009) was introduced in the assembly. Meanwhile, another bill pertaining to the Sindh Planning and Development Board was withdrawn and three other bills regarding Sindh local government (fourth amended), 2010, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Shaheed Benazirababd Bill 2009 and People’s University of Medical and Health Science for Women, Shaheed Benazirabad Bill, 2009 were deferred.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.