The family members of the slain Taj Bibi have rejected the deputy commissioner’s verdict over declaring the culprits innocent. In a press conference on Thursday, the family members said that the woman was shot dead by the security forces in broad daylight, and exculpating the killers would be a travesty of justice.
According to the details, the deputy commissioner of Kech briefed the media at his office where he confirmed that the woman had been killed in the firing. “We equally share the grief of the family members”, he said.
He said that the family members have alleged that Taj Bibi was killed when the security forces opened fire on her and her husband, and many have spread this “rumour” on social media as well. He said that we are currently investigating the incident, and we assure the family members that they will receive justice.
The deputy commissioner said that the nearest security checkpoint is almost 3 kilometres from the site of the murder, and there is no weapon in the forces’ arsenal that can hit a target at such a distance. He said that the incident needs further investigation. He advised the family members to register a First Information Report against the people they deem culprit. In the meantime, the forces will be considered innocent until the crime is proven.
Taj Bibi’s family members rejected the DC’s verdict. In a press conference at Turbat Press Club on Thursday, they said that the woman was killed by the security forces and there are eyewitnesses of the incident. The family members said that they will fire an FIR against the security forces.
Taj Bibi’s alleged murder at the hands of the security forces has engendered a massive outcry across Balochistan. Many have taken to social media to condemn the incident and demand justice for the slain woman. BSO-Azad said in a media statement that the murder of Taj Bibi is a violation of human rights and the silence of human rights groups is alarming.
The statement said that due to the “oppression” of the security forces, the natives of Balochistan are forced to live as refugees in their homeland. Taj Bibi was also targeted in the past when she was forcefully uprooted from her village and community and sent to live in a makeshift settlement in the outskirts of Turbat city. But the suffering did not end there – Taj Bibi was killed and her husband wounded when the security forces opened fire on them.
BSO-Azad said that the silence of rights groups is alarming and it is emboldening the Pakistani forces to further their inhumane practices in Balochistan. The world must stand up and hold Pakistan answerable for these crimes, the statement concluded.
Baloch National Movement also condemned the incident in a media statement and said that enforced disappearances, kill-and-dumps, mass graves and targeted killings have seen a spike in Balochistan over the years. Taj Bibi’s murder is not an individual’s mistake – it is just one facet of the “genocidal” mindset of the Pakistani state and the military. “Until the Pakistani occupation is thrown off, such incidents will continue to occur”, BNM said.
A protest was also carried out in district Kech to provide justice to the slain Taj Bibi. The participants condemned the incident and demanded that the authorities file an FIR per the wishes of Taj Bibi’s family members. They said that the incident must be investigated impartially and the culprits must be prosecuted and punished accordingly.