QUETTA: Two flood victims, including a pregnant woman and a child, sustained bullet injuries when personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC) allegedly fired shots in order to disperse a crowd that had gathered to fetch water at a relief camp near Badini Cross in Quetta on Monday.
Another flood victim was injured due to baton charging by security personnel in the same incident.
However, a spokesman of the FC denied the allegations, and said the bullet was fired accidentally and the security man was himself also injured.
Eyewitnesses living near the relief camp, however, accused the FC personnel of opening fire at flood victims jostling to get their hands on water. “I have seen that victims had assembled close to a water tank and intended to fetch water but forces did not allow them. The flood victims tried to overpower them and fetch water at all costs, as they needed it,” an eyewitness said, adding that the personnel resorted to baton-charge first, and later opened fire, due to which three people suffered injuries.
The victims were identified as Lachmi and her son Sagar, who suffered bullet injuries while Kanwar received minor wounds during the earlier baton-charge. The injured woman, stated to be pregnant, was in a critical condition. The injured were taken to Quetta’s Civil Hospital and then referred to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
Talking to The Express Tribune, FC spokesman Murtaza Baig refused that any such action was taken by the paramilitary force. “The bullet was fired by mistake and a FC man was also injured,” he said.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has ordered an investigation into the matter and sought a report immediately from the authorities concerned. He also assured full healthcare facilities to the injured woman and the child.
“Investigations are being carried out by Deputy Commissioner Quetta Sabor Khan Kakar and an FC commandant,” Commissioner Quetta Division, Naseem Lehri told journalists.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2010.