Relatives of ‘missing’ persons hold hunger strike in Hyderabad

Updated October 13, 2019

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Protesters say that the missing persons should be produced before court if they were involved in any offence. — Rashid Rizvi/File
Protesters say that the missing persons should be produced before court if they were involved in any offence. — Rashid Rizvi/File

HYDERABAD: Family members of several missing activists of nationalist groups observed a token hunger strike outside the local press club along with rights activists on Saturday to draw the attention of the competent authorities to their unending ordeal.

The protesters believe that their dear ones had been picked up by personnel of security agencies but their whereabouts were not being declared.

The protest was organised by the Voice for Missing Persons Sindh as part of its campaign for, what it describes as “release of victims of enforced disappearances”. The forum demands that all such missing persons be set free or at least their whereabouts be made known to their families and other relatives.

The protesters included Tanvir Arejo, Sindhu Chandio, Fatah Channa, Syed Ali Jeelani, Taj Joyo and Imdad Chandio.

They raised slogans for the release of nationalist activists Shaukat Markhand, Ayub Kandhero, Murtaza Junejo, Shahid Junejo, Shadi Khan Soomro, Rafiq Umrani, Gulsher Taggar, Kashif Taggar, Sohail Raza Bhatti, Sohbat Khoso, Fatah Khoso, Hyder Khoso, Hafeez Hakro, Niaz Lashari, Mohan Meghwar, Javed Singhar and also Masood Shah — said to be the eyewitness of the murder of Irshad Ranjhani, who was allegedly shot dead by a UC chairman in Karachi.

Speaking to local reporters, the protesters argued that the missing persons be produced before court if they were involved in any offence. They claimed that Masood Shah was picked up in Gulshan-i-Hadeed and his whereabouts were not known since then. They also claimed that Shah’s relatives were also arrested and implicated in “false” cases.

They announced that they would hold a similar protest in Karachi on Sunday.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019