Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Quetta (Balochistan) [Pakistan], May 6 (ANI): The death of a young man in Quetta after police opened fire on his car has sparked protests in the city.

Faiza Jattak, a 22-year-old student, was killed on Wednesday night after officials of the Eagle Squad of Balochistan Police opened fire on his car on Sariab Road, Dawn reportedAccording to the first information report (FIR) registered on the complaint of Jattak's cousin who was travelling with him in the car, the two men were going home through Sariab Road around 10pm when four officials of the Eagle Squad signalled them to stop at Sada Bahar Terminal.

"As soon as we travelled a bit ahead, they started firing on us because of which my cousin, Faizan, was seriously injured. He died on the spot, while I was injured," the FIR quoted Jattak's cousin as saying.

The FIR was lodged against the four police officials under Sections 302 (murder), 324 (attempt to murder) and 34 (acts done by several people in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Later that night, angry protesters blocked Sariab Road and chanted slogans against police for what they called "brutality".

Long queues of vehicles blocked the road which links the southern and western parts of Balochistan with the provincial capital, Quetta.

The incident also sparked outrage on social media as people demanded stern action against those responsible.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove took notice of the incident and ordered an inquiry.

Provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said he was "very saddened" over the firing incident which resulted in Jattak's death and injuries to his companion.

"Top leadership of the police have taken notice of the incident and issued directions for an immediate inquiry. Justice will prevail," he said in a tweet.

Faizan Jattak was the son of tribal elder Mir Dad Mohammad Jattak. His funeral prayers were held in his hometown Dasht on Thursday.

The incident comes months after five officials of the Islamabad Police were arrested for the killing of 21-year-old student Osama Satti.

Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades.

Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

While successive governments have promised to criminalise enforced disappearance, none has taken concrete steps and the practice continues with impunity.

Recently, fighting between the Pakistan security forces and Baloch insurgents have intensified in the region.

In its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights, the US State Department has highlighted significant human rights issues in Pakistan, including unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government and forced disappearance of Pashtun, Sindhi and Baloch human rights activists.

The report said that there was a lack of government accountability, and abuses often went unpunished, fostering a culture of impunity among perpetrators, whether official or unofficial.

The report also noted that human rights organisations reported some authorities disappeared or arrested Pashtun, Sindhi and Baloch human rights activists, as well as Sindhi and Baloch nationalists without cause or warrant. (ANI)

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