At least 4 injured in Chagai protests after driver allegedly killed by security forces

Published April 18, 2022
People taking out a protest in Chagai district, Balochistan on Monday. — Photo courtesy Ali Raza Rind
People taking out a protest in Chagai district, Balochistan on Monday. — Photo courtesy Ali Raza Rind

At least four people were injured as protests continued in Balochistan's Chagai district on Monday over the killing of a driver allegedly by security forces last week.

Violent protests had erupted on April 15 in the district's Nokkundi and Dalbandin areas against the killing of the driver after he allegedly tried to speed away despite being signalled to stop in Panch Raik area near the Pak-Afghan border, official sources said.

Four individuals, who were injured during today's protest, were taken to a trauma centre in Quetta for treatment, according to the centre's managing director Syed Yasir Hussain Shah.

Shah said medical services were being provided to the injured on the orders of Balochistan Health Minister Syed Ehsan Shah and the health secretary.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo took notice of the tense situation and sought a detailed report from the Rakhshan division commissioner, according to a statement issued by the Directorate General Public Relations.

CM Bizenjo also ordered the chief secretary to immediately transfer Chagai's deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioners of Taftan and Dalbandin.

The chief minister appealed to the people of Chagai to remain calm and said the driver's death would be fully investigated. "No injustice will be done with the driver's family," he said.

Earlier in the day, Balochistan National Party-Mengal chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal claimed that six people were "critically injured by the Frontier Corps (FC)" during the protests.

"How can we be part of this government when such incidents take place? Are these confidence-building measures? Is violence going to solve Balochistan's problem? Our priority is Balochistan and its people and I want to categorically state that there will be no compromise," he warned.

Seven people were injured during protests on Friday amid violence in Nokkundi and Dalbandin. As the body of the driver, identified later as Hameedullah, was brought to the RCD Highway, several drivers and residents of Nokkundi had blocked traffic for hours before their successful negotiations with the authorities led to highway clearance.

The people had been injured when the protest outside a government building being used by security forces turned violent after a fire was set to its main gate and the security forces fired in the air to disperse the mob.

The injured were shifted to Nokkundi Rural Healthcare Centre where they were given medical treatment. Five injured were later brought to Prince Fahad Hospital in Dalbandin where doctors provided them with medical treatment. Two of the injured were referred to a trauma centre in Quetta for further treatment.

A few protesters in Dalbandin had complained that several drivers were compelled to leave their vehicles and return on foot to Nokkundi. They had expressed concerns about those left to fend for themselves and demanded that the authorities bring them back amid extremely hot weather.

“I with my few other friends travelled for six hours on foot and luckily found a vehicle midway which brought us to Nokkundi. We were told by the security forces to leave the border area and go back,” Habib, one of the protesters, had told Dawn.

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