Extra-judicial killing on the rise in Sindh: AHRC

Rights group says after Balochistan, intelligence agencies ‘kidnapping, killing’ people in Sindh

LAHORE: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) says it has received information that bullet-riddled bodies of two missing young men have been found on the roadside in Larkano.

AHRC said the two had been missing for the last six months when they were arrested by law enforcement agencies while travelling on the Karachi highway.

“Since January 2012, more than a dozen bullet-riddled bodies have been found in Sindh.

Abbas Kassar, a senior journalist from Sindh, reported that the bodies of two young Sindhi men – Khadim Lolahi and Qurban Jatoi – were found in Madeji town of Larkano on February 12. They were the activists of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) that is working for the separation of Sindh from Pakistan, AHRC said.

It said the two had been kidnapped by plainclothes officials while they were on their way to Karachi. “When the villagers found the bodies lying on the roadside they were shocked at the signs of torture and bullet wounds. A woman, Mahtab Khatoon Lolai, identified one of the victims as her brother Khadim Lolai and his friend Qurban Jatoi. The Madeji police without conducting an investigation then announced that both the killed men were notorious criminals.”

The residents of Sohna Gahej village refuted the claim of the police and told the media that these two persons, along with others, were picked by a double cabin vehicle in the night six months before the incident when they were going to Karachi, AHRC said.

The relatives also said that both Qurban Jatoi of Ratodero and Khadim Lolai of village Shah Ali of Dakhan town were picked up by security men.

Khadim Lolai, according to AHRC, is the third member of his family to be picked up by security agencies and killed in custody. “Earlier, his two brothers, as told by the villagers, were also picked up by men from a security agency, they say from ISI, and their bodies dumped near their village in a similar way. It is no secret that when the involvement of security agencies is evident, police generally avoid filing cases of abduction and disappearances.”

“The policy of intelligence agencies to kill and dump has been seen in the province and most of the victims have been young students from the nationalist groups,” the rights group said.

It said activists are being arrested by intelligence personnel in the presence of police officers and taken to torture cells run by military and its intelligence agencies. “More than a hundred persons, including members of sectarian religious groups, have been missing since the military regime of General Musharraf but their whereabouts remain unknown,” AHRC said.

The group said the unlawful practice of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in custody had increased drastically in Sindh.

“Sindh now closely follows Balochistan where people are arrested and killed in secret detention centres. This has been happening since Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror in 2001. Disappearances occur across the country but most cases are reported, especially in Balochistan and Sindh. These two provinces face violence from ethnic and religious armed groups and state security forces. Political activists and young students have been especially targeted and hundreds of them have been found dead, their bodies showing signs of torture.”

Besides this, AHRC said, in January 2012, five young men were picked up by plainclothes personnel from various parts of the province. They included Imtiaz Shah from Matli district, Badin, it said, adding that his brother Mukhtiar said Imtiaz had no connection with any political or nationalist party. He said Imtiaz had been picked up when he was on his way from Matli to home in Rajo Khanani.

“It is reported that many students and activist workers of JSMM have disappeared but their family members are not filing any complaint against intelligence agencies because they fear that if the news of their disappearance is leaked their loved ones will be brutally killed in the same manner in which it is happening in Balochistan. Now even the Sindhi people are facing the same situation as the Baloch, as the young workers of the activist parties are being arrested and disappeared. Then, after few days their bodies are found on the roadside,” AHRC said. pr

Courtesy: Daily Times


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