GUJRAT: The Mandi Bahauddin administration on Tuesday handed over cheques of financial compensation to the families of six victims of the Noshki firing incident in Balochistan.

The cheques of Rs100,000 each were handed over to the families of the victims by Mandi Deputy Commissioner Shahid Marth.

The compensation was given by the Mandi district from its own resources and heirs of three other victims of the firing belonging to Gujranwala and Wazirabad are yet to receive any such amount from their district administrations.

Talking to Dawn by telephone, Gujranwala Commissioner Naveed Haider Sheerazi said he had sent directions to the Gujranwala DC to issue cheques of financial assistance to the bereaved families and hopefully the DC would do the needful in a couple of days.

He added that the Balochistan government had also decided to pay some financial assistance to the heirs of the deceased youths as the Noshki deputy Commissioner had approached the DCs of Mandi Bahauddin, Gujranwala and Wazirabad, seeking details of the families. But the exact amount of financial assistance from the Balochistan government was yet to be known, Mr Sheerazi said.

Mandi dist admin pays from own resources; Gujranwala, Wazirabad victims’ heirs yet to receive amount

Earlier, Qul for all the six deceased was held at their native village Chak Fateh Shah in Mandi Bahauddin on Tuesday. The Mandi Bahauddin DC along with the other officials attended prayers for the departed souls.

At least nine young men, from the age of 17 to 23 years, belonging to districts of Mandi, Gujranwala and Wazirabad, were killed by the firing of armed men. They were going to Taftan on the Iran-Pakistan border from Quetta. The attackers, who had set up a cordon on the N-40 Quetta-Noshki Highway, intercepted the bus they were travelling in and looted the belongings of passengers, including cash and mobile phones.

After checking the national identity cards of the passengers, the gunmen separated the nine passengers belonging to Punjab and took them away. Their bullet-riddled bodies were later dumped under a bridge in a hilly area of Noshki. The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility for the killings.

The deceased youths had valid visas of Iran and Iraq; however, the sources in their close families said that these youth had left the houses with intention to go Europe by illegally crossing the borders into Turkey and then Europe.

The deceased hailed from the poor families and they had paid a sum of Rs260,000 each to a Gujranwala-based agent as an initial amount as rest of the amount had to be paid by them after their reaching the destination.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

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