QUETTA, Jan 4: Acting president of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal group) Mir Nooruddin Mengal and seven other activists were arrested near Khuzdar.
According to party sources, they were intercepted by a heavy contingent of police near the Baghbana area and taken into custody while they were on their way to Khuzdar from Kalat.
Khuzdar District Police Officer Agha Babar Gul said that an AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle and several rounds were recovered from the acting BNP-M president’s possession.
He said that cases had been registered against him for ‘provoking people against the state’. He said that Naseer Ahmed Shahwani, Malik Farooq, Mohammad Noor Mengal, Ghulam Mustafa Shahwani, Mohammad Anwar Mengal, Maqsood Ahmed Shahwani and Abdul Wahid Mengal had also been arrested.
Jamhoori Watan Party’s spokesman Amanullah Kanrani has condemned the arrests and said that the government wanted to deprive political parties of their democratic right to protest against government atrocities in the province.
He said that hundreds of political activists were in jails while a large number of political workers were missing. He said that a JWP leader, Saleem Baloch, who was released only 15 days ago after nine-month detention, had also been re-arrested.
Blaming the government for conducting an operation against Bugti tribesmen in different areas of Dera Bugti, Mr Kanrani said that security forces had arrested a large number of innocent people, including children and old men, during the operation.