On August 12, Mehrab Pandrani, 13, was tortured to death by the family of a transport service owner in Quetta. They also injured another child, Akhtar Lehri, accusing the boys of theft. Both of them had been working at their home as domestic staff.
Following the murder of the young child, Assistant Commissioner Saryab, Yasir Iqbal Dashti sealed the transport service temporarily. It has now reopened.
The people are protesting this brutal murder in Quetta, Turbat, Nasirabad and Kalat. Some protests have also been called in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore led by Baloch Solidarity Committee and student councils.
Police has lodged an FIR against Dolat Lehri, who is a co-owner of Sada Bahar Terminal. Mehrab’s family has told police that he was a seminary student in his town but due to the sudden death of his father, he turned to Quetta for work. Mehrab was extremely poor and supported his mother by sending her his monthly income.
Dolat Lehri’s family accused the boy and his friend of theft to the tune of Rs300,000. They then beat both of them; Akhtar survived and is admitted in a hospital. Mehrab did not survive. Civil society is outraged; they say that even if the boys were guilty of theft, their punishment was to be determined by a court of law, not the accuser.
After his death, Mehrab’s body was transported to Nasirabad to his family. They were told that he had committed suicide. But the torture marks on his body told the true story of how he had been brutally murdered by his employers. His family took pictures of the body and shared them on social media.
It was then that the police began to look into the case and lodged an FIR against Dolat Lehri.
On August 17, some unknown men entered into the house of Illahi Bakhsh Leghari in Barkhan district of Balochistan where they opened fire on his family, killing three people and an injuring three others, including an infant. Even though an FC checkpost is located one kilometer away from the house, the culprits were still termed “unknown.”
When the security personnel sitting on check posts cannot protect the citizens, what is the need to hire them? Besides this, isn’t it embarrassing for law enforcement personnel to act only when an incident is going viral on social media? When they are finally prompted into action, they often still fail to catch the offenders. Sometimes they are simply uninterested in locating them.
In light of these cases, people have taken to social media to demand justice for the children who have been affected by the prevalent lawlessness in the province. It seems social media hashtags is the only option left for the people to vent their anger and frustration.
The people of Balochistan face numerous social, economic and leadership crisis in their everyday life. From Makran to Jhalawan, the inhabitants of Balochistan demand their fundamental rights, but remain completely unheard.