Rights groups demand justice for child killed by police in Buleda

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Human rights groups have demanded justice for the slain Ramiz Baloch, a ten-year-old boy, who was killed by the police during a raid in Buleda. The family members of the child are protesting on the Shaheed Fida Chowk in Turbat. They have staged a sit-in alongside the dead body and vowed that they will not move until justice is served and the culprits are prosecuted. Businesses and shops have been closed and traffic is also suspended in the area.

According to reports, the deputy commissioner of Kech came to negotiate with the family members of Ramiz Baloch and entreated them to call off the protest, but to no avail. The family members said that they will not move, neither bury their child until the policemen involved in his killing are brought to justice. They said that if the authorities turn a blind eye to our demands, we will move the dead body to Quetta and carry out the protest in front of the Balochistan Assembly.

The deputy commissioner said that the local authorities were neither informed nor involved in the raid – the Counter-Terrorism Department and the crime branch had carried out the raid and killed the minor.

Zahoor Buledi, Member of Balochistan Assembly, said that the police had raided the house to arrest someone else. A firefight had ensued that resulted in the death of the child. BSO Chairman Zareef Rind, whose house was raided, repudiated these claims as “government propaganda.” He said that the forces had raided the house early in the morning when the householders were asleep. They deliberately shot Ramiz dead, wounded another seven-year-old child and detained Khalil Baloch, his brother. He expressed concern about the well-being of his brother.

The Baloch Students Organisation, Rind’s affiliated organization, said that raiding a house and opening indiscriminate fire on unarmed civilians is a violation of the Baloch traditions. It is a serious crime to target an entire family just for the sake of arresting one individual.

Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), a rights group, condemned the raid on Rind’s house and said that the “extrajudicial killing” of the Baloch youth has accelerated in the past couple of months. The forces raided a house and killed one of the householders – a child – in cold blood; this is an explicit example of the lawlessness that pervades Balochistan today. The security forces are carrying out war crimes in Balochistan, the committee said.

BYC said that the “brutal” murder of Ramiz Baloch should serve as a yardstick to what extent the security forces follow the law in Balochistan. BYC appealed to the authorities to take notice of the issue and deliver justice to the slain child and his family members.

The Baloch Republican Party (BRP), a Baloch nationalist political party, also condemned the killing of Ramiz Baloch. In a media statement, Shah Muhammad Bugti, the spokesperson for the group, said that the silence of human rights groups in the face of this incident is alarming.


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