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Protest campaign over woman’s murder in robbery in Balochistan’s Kech reaches Karachi

Karachi

June 6, 2020

The ongoing protest campaign demanding the arrest of attackers who killed a mother and injured her four-year-old child in an armed robbery in Balochistan’s Kech district reached Karachi on Friday.

Hundreds of people, including women, mainly from the city’s Baloch populated areas, such as Lyari and Malir, took part in the protest held outside the Karachi Press Club.

Noted rights and civil society activists also attended the protest to show solidarity with the protesters. The protest was organised under the banner of the Bramsh Baloch Solidarity Committee.

The incident occurred on May 26, when three robbers stormed into a house in the Dannuk area intending to carry out a robbery. A woman in the house – named Malak Naaz – was shot dead for resisting their robbery attempt, while the four-year girl, Bramsh, was severely injured with bullet wounds.

Protesters outside the city’s press club demanded of the authorities to provide justice to Bramsh and arrest the culprits who orphaned the little girl. They chanted slogans and carried placards and banners inscribed with their demands.

“Our protest is part of an ongoing campaign to get justice for Bramsh and to show solidarity with her family,” said Hani Baloch, a youth activist, and the protest’s organiser. She said that incidents of robberies were on the rise in Turbat, Kech and other towns of Balochistan and “it is creating a sense of fear among the residents”.

Waheed Noor, noted poet and activist, said that wounding a little girl and killing his mother were an attack on “Baloch honour”. “It has hurt the sentiments of the Baloch community overall and the Friday protest has been held to express their anger over it.”

Akbar Wali, an activist, said the incident had made the “locals of Balochistan realise that they are at risk no matter where, when, or who they are: men, women, or even babies”. Aghar Dashti, an academic, questioned the Balochistan government’s safety measures and demanded of the authorities to protect the residents. Protesters also demanded of the government to “stop supporting criminal gangs that are operating in the province and involved in robberies and other criminal acts”.

Nasir Mansoor from the National Trade Union Federation; Khurram Ali and Laila Raza from the Awami Workers Party; Saeed Baloch of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum; Abdul Hai from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; rights activists Naghma Shiekh, Zehra Khan, Qazi Khizer, Wahid Baloch, Ayub Qureshi; members of Baloch nationalist, and student groups also attended the protests. Keeping in line with the government-issued SOPs regarding the coronavirus, protesters outside the press club observed social distancing and wore masks.