Police thrash protesters at Kandhkot demonstration

Published September 7, 2023
Members of District Bar Association stage a sit-in outside the local press club to protest police action on Wednesday. — Saeed Memon
Members of District Bar Association stage a sit-in outside the local press club to protest police action on Wednesday. — Saeed Memon

SUKKUR/HYDERABAD: Police resorted to baton charge on Wednesday against protesters who were staging a sit-in for recovery of hostages kidnapped from the Kandhot-Kashmore district and were still in dacoits’ captivity.

The protest started on Wednesday morning in Kandhkot town after a similar sit-in in Kashmore town ended on late Tuesday night.

According to reports, around half a dozen persons, including two policemen, were said to have received injuries. The protesters resisted police’s attempt to end sit-in at Gola More, Kandhkot bypass, that connects Kandhkot with Balochistan and Punjab as well.

Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) leader and Sindh Bar Council (SBC) member Advocate Abdul Ghani Bijarani, while talking to Dawn said: “The sit-in at Kashmore’s Dera More ended last night, but this protest is in fact continuity of it.”

“We are just demanding recovery of hostages and nothing else,” he said, adding: “We are being told to call off the protest, but we refuse to do so.”

Activists refuse to end sit-in despite assurance of recovery of hostages by police

Shikarpur SSP Amjad Ahmed Shaikh, who also holds the additional charge of Kandhkot-Kashmore SSP, met with the protesters and ‘requested’ time for recovery of hostages, saying that the sit-in was causing obstruction in police’s efforts.

However, the SSP returned with no luck as the talks remained inconclusive since Mr Bijarani declined the ‘request’.

The Dera More’s sit-in was led mainly by Hindu Panchayat leaders which ended on Tuesday night after three hostages, namely Mukhi Jagdesh, Jai Deep and Dr Munir Naich were recovered by the district police.

However, one of the Hindu Panchayat leaders, Engineer Lal Motwani, told Dawn that Kashmore town’s sit-in ended due to pressure of influential people otherwise people were not ready to end that as they were demanding release of Sagar Kumar and Mushtaq Mumdani.

Another Hindu Panchayat leader, Dr Mahar Chand, claimed that Sagar Kumar would be recovered by Wednesday (yesterday), but his recovery had not been confirmed yet.

The protest at Kandhkot bypass was being led by various political parties’ leaders, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamaat-i-Islami and QAT.

JI leader Ghulam Mustafa Mirani said: “A-section police Kandhkot have also lodged an FIR against us besides baton charge against protesters.”

SSP Shaikh claimed that the protest in Kandhkot town started on the call of QAT, and none of the protesters belong to hostages’ families.

“Even Hindu community leaders like Nand Lal and others have approached them to call off the protest and end the sit-in so that police can focus their attention on recovery of hostages, but they turned down their request,” SSP told Dawn.

He said that some miscreants within protesters caused trouble during the protest on Wednesday, adding that two policemen also received injuries as protesters attacked them.

Condemning police’s baton charge against protesters, QAT leader Ayaz Latif Palijo said that even private persons in the garb of police resorted to highhandedness while carrying knives.

Meanwhile, Sindh Tarraqi-passand Party chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that police, sardars and jagirdars also got their pound of flesh out of ransom money paid by hostages’ heirs.

SHO suspended

Meanwhile, the SSP took notice of the baton charge by the police and said it was carried out without any permission from the high ups.

Ordering inquiry in the said matter, he said that all the policemen involved including the SHO had been suspended and directed them to report to DSP Kandhkot-Kashmore.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2023

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