Lynching of youth sparks tensions in Quetta

Police arrest 11 suspects from Hazara Town

Mohammad Zafar May 31, 2020
PHOTO: @shamsNoorzai

QUETTA: The brutal lynching of a young man in Quetta’s Hazara Town on Friday night sparked fear, communal tensions and protests – with the police arresting 11 people on the basis of a video footage.

Dozens of enraged people beat Bilal Khan to death at Aliabad area of Hazara Town after a dispute over making a cell phone video. Bilal’s friends – Nayaz and Khalil – were also seriously injured and were later rescued by the police.

The gruesome incident was also filmed on mobile phones and the footage was shared on the social media, whipping up a storm of fear, anger and outrage.

A trend on social media also emerged demanding justice for Bilal Khan and his family. The incident triggered tension in Quetta and a large number of people gathered demanding arrest of the culprits.

The protestors chanted slogans against the murderers and marched on roads with the body of the lynched man. They gathered at the red zone of Quetta’s Zarghoon Road and staged a sit-in.

“We demand immediate arrest of the culprits involved in murder of Khan and beating Khalil and Nayaz. The protest would continue till the arrest,” said Khan’s uncle while talking to media during the sit-in.

Taking notice of the incident, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal suspended the station house officer (SHO) of Brewery Road, a sub inspector and three constables over their failure to disperse the mob.

Later the CM took to micro-blogging site Twitter to announce that an FIR of the incident had been lodged. “The provincial government has initiated an investigation and the injured would be transferred to Karachi for better treatment,” Kamal wrote.

The administration later managed to persuade the protestors to peacefully disperse after assuring them that justice will be served. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2020.

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