The funerals of 13 victims of Saturday’s Turbat killings were held on Sunday in Sadiqabad.
The deceased hailed from Sadiqabad’s Chak 212-P, Chak 203-P, Chak 160-NP, Chak 217-P and Basti Shahpur. They include 18-year-old Mithu, 20-year-old Faqeer Muhammad, 17-year-old Bilawal, 20-year-old Muhammad Rana, 21-year-old Farooq, 28-year-old Haji Muhammad Din, 22-year-old Ashiq Hussain, 21-year-old Tahir Zaman, 22-year-old Abdul Rehman, 19-year-old Majid, 26-year-old Irshad, 21-year-old Mumtaz and 23-year-old Muhammad Afzal. Funeral prayers of seven people were held in Chak 212-P while those of the remaining six were offered in Kot Sabzal. Five of the six hailed from the same family. No politician was present at the proceedings.
An aircraft carrying the bodies of the deceased had landed at Pano Aqil Airport late on Saturday due to adverse weather conditions. The bodies were then taken to Sadiqabad via road. Balochistan Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti earlier told journalists on Saturday at Rahim Yar Khan Airport that officials had been directed to arrest policemen tasked with securing the camp at the time of the carnage. He said eight people had been arrested on this account.
Protests rock province
All business activities remained at a standstill in Sadiqabad tehsil on Sunday following a strike call by the Anjuman-i-Tajiran in the wake of the massacre. In Bahawalpur, dozens of people came together at a protest demonstration organised by the Seraikistan Qaumi Ittehad to register their outrage at the carnage. SQI district president Sarfaraz Bhatti said killing innocent people was an act of cowardice. He said terrorism had no religion, caste or conscience. The protesters demanded the government take action against those responsible of carrying out the massacre and mete out justice. Activists of the Pakistan Seraiki party staged a protest demonstration against the killings in Dera Ghazi Khan. They blocked the Quetta Road for traffic by placing tyres on the thoroughfare and setting them ablaze. Separately, Seraikistan Qaumi Council activists blocked the Indus Highway in Panigah to protest against the carnage.
The All-Pakistan Workers’ Confederation announced on Sunday that the body would be observing three-day mourning over the massacre. General secretary Khurshid Ahmed said the police had failed to protect the workers. A resolution calling on the government of Balochistan to ensure a safe working environment in the province and demanding action against those responsible for the massacre was also passed on the occasion. The resolution also asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to grant Rs2.5 million compensation each from the Workers’ Welfare Fund to the families of the deceased.
President Rubeena Jameel, chairman Yusuf Baloch, additional general secretary Akbar Ali Khan, secretary of the confederation Osama Tariq, general secretary Khushi Muhammad and Punjab Chapter president Niaz Khan also spoke on the occasion. With additional
reporting from Amel Ghani and Tariq Ismaeel
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2015.