Sindh CM orders inquiry into killing of 4 villagers during law enforcers’ raid in Sakrand

Published September 29, 2023
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar talks to the media in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV
Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar talks to the media in Karachi on Friday. — DawnNewsTV

Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar on Friday said he has ordered an inquiry into the killing of four villagers in Sakrand a day earlier and summoned a report on the incident within four days.

On Thursday, four people were killed and nine others, including four Rangers personnel, were wounded in an operation carried out by law enforcement agencies in a Sakrand village to nab militants belonging to the outlawed Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army.

Without providing details, a Rangers spokesman had said in a statement that an intelligence-based operation was launch­­ed against high-value targets.

Meanwhile, Sindh United Party (SUP) Secretary General Roshan Burriro had said that those killed were supporters. He had stated that a scuffle broke out between security forces and villagers and the situation escalated when law enforcers fired shots, leading to the death of four villagers and as many injuries.

Subsequently, villagers took to the streets and staged a sit-in on a section of the National Highway. They were carrying coffins of the deceased persons.

In a post on social media platform X (erstwhile Twitter) today, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) called for an independent investigation into the incident.

“While the government should take all possible steps to improve law and order in the province, this in no way excuses extrajudicial killings, which HRCP has always opposed,” it said, adding that the protesting families deserved justice.

Addressing the matter in a media talk after attending a Rabiul Awwal procession at New Memon Mosque in the evening, the interim chief minister expressed his sorrow and regret over the incident.

He said he had held a meeting with interim Sindh Home Minister retired Brigadier Haris Nawaz and sought the incident’s details. “Such kind of incidents are painful and shouldn’t take place,” CM Baqar added.

The CM said he had formed a three-member committee to conduct an inquiry into the incident and directed them to report their findings within four days.

An order issued by the Sindh Home Department, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said the inquiry committee would be headed by Hyderabad Commissioner Khalid Hyder Shah and included the Shaheed Benazirabad deputy inspector general of police (DIG) and Karachi DIG Special Branch.

The committee would investigate the matter to “determine the reasons of this clash resulting in loss of precious lives and injuries to law enforcement personnel”.

Protest ends as FIR lodged

The protest by the heirs and relatives of the four villagers ended today after the order for the judicial inquiry and the registration of a first information report (FIR).

The FIR was lodged today under Sections 302 (intentional murder) and 324 (murder attempt) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of Rahib Jalbani, the brother of one of the deceased.

The complainant said that he, his brother Sujawal Jalbani and other relatives were present in the house of Ali Nawaz Jalbani on Thursday when around 4.45pm, five police mobiles and one Vigo of law enforcers arrived.

The FIR said around 40 to 45 uniformed personnel and 10 in plain clothes disembarked from the vehicles and told those present in the house that they were terrorists and the officers would let the residents go and kill the rest.

The FIR said the security officials began firing on the villagers, adding that the complainant’s brother and Nizamuddin Jalbani died instantly while Imam Bux Jalbani, Mehar Jalbani, Imamuddin Jalbani, Allahdad Jalbani, Sarang Jalbani, Ali Nawaz Jalbani and Liaquat Jalbani were injured.

The complainant said villagers gathered after hearing the gunshots and the injured were moved to Taluka Hospital Sakrand, adding that Imam Bux and Mehar lost their lives on the way.

He said that the villagers took their bodies to the National Highway and staged a sit-in there.

Meanwhile, SUP President Syed Zain Shah told Dawn.com that the bodies would be laid to rest at a funeral on Friday night by the heirs in the village.

He said the deceased were his constituency’s voters but they were not politically affiliated. Shah said the heirs had agreed to call off the protest after the Shaheed Benazirabad deputy commissioner wrote a letter to the additional chief secretary for a judicial inquiry into the matter, adding that it was a big “stigma” for the villagers if they were dubbed as terrorists by the home minister.

The SUP president informed that the postmortem of the deceased was also conducted.

SUP secretary general Burriro said that the heirs also insisted that if Rangers personnel were injured then the villagers would visit them to enquire about their health. He said that law enforcers had claimed that they had reached the village following some information about miscreants.

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