Baloch Students’ Council Holds Rally for Disappeared Peer in Lahore

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The Baloch Students’ Council (BSC) Punjab organized a significant rally in Lahore on Saturday to protest the alleged enforced disappearance of Khudadad Siraj, a Baloch medical student from Sargodha. The rally began with a large procession and concluded with a peaceful demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club. During the event, participants handed out leaflets to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Baloch students both in Balochistan and elsewhere.

Numerous students and individuals from various backgrounds joined the demonstration. Khudadad Siraj, a second-year pathology student at Sargodha Medical College, was reportedly taken into custody on March 8, near Al-Rasheed Hospital on Bahadur Shah Zafar Road, by armed individuals who forced him into a white Cultus car and left the scene.

In a press conference held in Quetta, Khudadad’s family provided details about his disappearance. They recounted that Khudadad was intercepted while he was out to buy bread with a friend, as a man in a car engaged him in conversation until another vehicle arrived, from which several armed men emerged, abducted Khudadad, and drove away.

Following this incident, his family protested in Tijaban, Turbat, blocking the M8 Highway to demand his safe return. Local authorities reportedly assured them of Khudadad’s release, leading to the end of the protest. However, the promise remains unfulfilled, with Khudadad still missing.

The Lahore protesters voiced their concern over the pattern of disappearances among Baloch students in various Pakistani cities, viewing Khudadad’s case as a continuation of harassment and racial profiling at universities nationwide. They argued that such actions aim to compel Baloch students, who travel great distances to pursue education, to abandon their studies and return to Balochistan.

It’s important to note that Khudadad Siraj and others like him, who are active in Baloch student councils, are targeted for their political involvement. The student councils support new students in adapting to their new environment and organize cultural and educational events to help integrate them. The councils are not involved in any illegal activities that would justify the detention of their members.

The Lahore demonstrators warned that if Khudadad is not found, they plan to initiate widespread protests in collaboration with other student groups across the country.

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