'Unfortunate & unacceptable': Police action against peaceful Baloch protesters condemned

Sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly against the alleged abduction of two missing Baloch students turns violent

News Desk June 14, 2022
Sit-in against alleged forced disappearance of two Baloch students. Karachi. Screengrab/Twitter

Missing Baloch students Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch, of the University of Karachi (KU), returned on Tuesday, according to Huda Hair Ellahi, Doda Elahi's sister after police arrested scores of protesters outside the Sindh Assembly last night. 

On Monday night, the Karachi police arrested 28 protesters, including women, who were staging a sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly against the alleged abduction of the two missing students.

The protestors were detained by the port city’s police force.

Law enforcement’s heavy-handed approach to seemingly peaceful protesters has gone viral on social media as people call for action to be taken against police brutality.

Sanaullah Baloch, a member of the Balochistan Assembly, former senator and member of the National Assembly, strongly condemned the Sindh police's "inhuman act of violence against innocent and peaceful protester."

The politician called for an investigation from the Sindh government and added that such tactics by the state have "already created immense distress amongst the Baloch."

Shireen Mazari, the former minister for human rights, deemed the actions of law-enforcement agencies "barbaric", stating such police action is "shameful and condemnable."

Meanwhile, Farhatullah Babar, a former senator, harshly criticised the tactics, stating that the police used "disproportionate force" to arrest women " against allegedly illegal abductions of their family members."

The former lawmaker deemed the actions "highly disturbing" expressing hope that the missing students are recovered safely.

Tahir Bizenjo, a member of the Senate strongly condemned the "brutality of the Sindh police" and called on Foreign Minister and ruling PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as well as Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Shah to immediately release the protestors.

Ironically, Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui, advisor to the CM Sindh on law and administrator of Karachi also condemned the police action.

"PPP believes in this fundamental right and police must deal with such issues with empathy," he stated. However, the official said that the protesters should have considered "confining their protest to the area around the press club."


'Unfortunate and unacceptable'

In addition to politicians, human rights organisations, journalists and citizens also condemned the actions of the Sindh police.

Amnesty International, in a series of sub-tweets, condemned the "use of excessive force". The organisation also stated that "violently cracking down on families demanding answers to the whereabouts of their loved ones only compounds the cruelty of the heinous practice of enforced disappearances."

The human rights body called for the "immediate release of Doda Baloch and Ghamshad Baloch and swift accountability for the use of excessive force at the protest."

Ayaz Latf Palijo, president of the Qomi Awami Tahreek (QAT), stated that the land of Sindh must not be used for violence. " The Baloch are our blood," he said.

Karachi Bachao Tehreek, a grassroots organisation stated that its members had been arrested for supporting the rights of Baloch people.

Journalist Hamid Mir deemed the violence " unfortunate and unacceptable".


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