Members of the Shaikh community protested on Saturday against the Sudh community, alleging that they had raided and opened fire on their village.
The protest and sit-in was held beside the National Highway near the Mirpur Mathelo bypass. The Shaikh community was led by Nawab Shaikh, Gul Hassan Shaikh, Mai Lal Khatoon, among others. The protestors chanted slogans against the Sudh community’s men and the police. They burnt tyres and blocked the highway for over an hour.
The episode, protestors said, sparked from an alleged attempt at occupation. According to them, their village is near Mirpur Mathelo in the vicinity of the Bello Mirpur police station. More than 10 acres of land belonging to the forest department is situated near their village which they have been cultivating. They claimed that the Sudh community’s men – who live far from the village – are trying to occupy this cultivated land.
They alleged that early Saturday morning dozens of armed Sudh men raided their village and opened fire. A woman named Suhagan Shaikh was injured. The protestors said that the Sudh community men also set fire to two houses belonging to Mohammad Hassan Shaikh and Ali Hassan Shaikh. However, the armed men escaped after the villagers retaliated. The protestors accused the Bello Mirpur police of siding with the alleged attackers. Instead of taking any action, the, police has arrested Allah Wadhayo Shaikh and Mohammad Hassan Shaikh, they said. The Shaikh community named Khan Mohammad Sudh and Noor Hassan Sudh as the key culprits and demanded that the police file a case against the men and arrest them.
The station house officer of the Bello Mirpur police station requested the protestors to end the blockade, promising action against the Sudh community men. However, the protestors refused. An elder of the Shaikh community later reached the site and asked the protestors to end their sit-in, which brought the episode to a close.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.
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