Protesters surround an ambulance carrying the coffin of slain miner in Shangla on Tuesday. — Dawn
Protesters surround an ambulance carrying the coffin of slain miner in Shangla on Tuesday. — Dawn

SHANGLA: The residents of Shangla on Tuesday blocked the Pirkhana-Olandar Road here against the murder of a mineworker after abduction in Mach area of Balochistan the other day.

The people gathered in the Olandar Bazaar upon arrival of the body of the young worker, Attaullah.

The members of the association for coal mine workers’ rights also participated in the agitation.

The protesters said killing of labourer in Balochistan was alarming as it happened not the first time as many mineworkers had been murdered in the province in the past. They regretted that the government had failed to protect their lives.

Sarwar Yousafzai, a protester, said abduction and murder of mineworkers was a big question mark on the performance of the security agencies and police in Balochistan.

He said the people of Shangla received corpses of mineworkers who went to other parts of the country in search of a living to feed their families back home.

Protester Haider Ali demanded payment of compensation for the bereaved family. He said thousands of people from Shangla, mostly youngsters, worked as mineworkers in different provinces, but the government failed to protect their lives.

Abid Yaar, president of the mineworkers’ association, said the coal miners were sleeping in their hut near the workplace when unknown assailants entered there at night and beat them up, before taking Attaullah away. He said the next day co-workers found his body from the nearby mountains.

The slain miner was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard in Bar Ganshal Matta area of Olandar.

Meanwhile, the ruling PTI Shangla spokesperson claimed that minister for labour and culture Shaukat Yousafzai had formed a committee, which would leave for Balochistan to meet the chief minister and the labour minister regarding the killing of coal miner.

He said the minister had promised compensation for the slain labourer.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2021

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