QUETTA: Lawmakers on both treasury and opposition benches in the Balochistan Assembly have condemned the Quetta assistant commissioner’s raid on the Bolan Medical University’s (BMU) girls hostel and her misbehaviour with the students and staff there.
They demanded the formation of a committee to investigate the matter.
The provincial assembly session resumed after an interval of two days with Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Mandokhail in the chair.
Provincial Social Welfare Minister Mir Asadullah Baloch and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) MPA Shakeela Naveed Dehwar and other lawmakers raised the issue of the hostel raid.
According to students, Quetta Assistant Commissioner Nida Kazmi not only misbehaved with the female housing officers of the medical university during the raid but also forced them to sit on the road at midnight.
Their personal belongings were also damaged by the raiding team.
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The social welfare minister criticised the assistant commissioner’s conduct. “Nobody will be allowed to bring our daughters on the streets,” he said. “It is a matter of pride that our daughters are receiving higher education. Their parents have sent them hundreds of kilometres away from homes so that they can receive education,” he added.
“The manner in which the authorities raided the girls' hostel at midnight is entirely against our traditions and customs.”
The minister demanded the formation of a committee to investigate the matter.
BNP-P MPA Shakeela Naveed Dehwar also expressed her anger over how the authorities had treated the students at the girls' hostel.
“The manner in which the authorities behaved with the students should be condemned by every sensible person in society,” she said, demanding the formation of an inquiry committee.
Other MPAs including Ahmed Nawaz Baloch, Naseer Baloch and Mir Akhtar Hussain Langove also spoke on the issue and demanded action against the officials involved in the incident.
Adviser to the Chief Minister on Minorities Danish Kumar and BNP-M’s Titus Johnson expressed serious concerns over the security of worship places in Quetta and other areas of the province.
Kumar said the worship places of religious minorities faced serious threats. “A sum of Rs20 million has been allocated for the protection of religious sites and places. This amount is not enough and it should be increased to Rs50 million” he added.
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BNP-M’s Titus Johnson expressed his concerns over the lack of proper security arrangements for churches.
Qadir Nayal of the Hazara Democratic Party said that government should provide foolproof security to pilgrims journeying to Iran and Iraq.
Home Minister Mir Zia Ahmed Langove said his department was aware of its responsibilities and was taking the necessary steps for the provision of security to pilgrims and worship places of minorities across the province.
Speaking on the girls' hostel incident, the minister said those found involved in the maltreatment of female students would be dealt with sternly.
“We have been observing the entire situation and soon a meeting will be arranged between the representatives of the students and the chief minister,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2019.