CrimeGilgit - Baltistan

Justice delayed: Government fails to make Hunza Riots inquiry public

PT Report

Gilgit, November 27: The Government of Gilgit – Baltistan has failed to make the investigation report of Hunza Riots public, despite of a lapse of over 100 days. The investigation has been completed and the report shared with the relevant departments, as well as the government.

However, for unclear reasons, the government is showing reluctance to make the findings public.

It is pertinent to remember that the GBLA Speaker, Wazir Baig, had termed the incident to be part of a conspiracy. After his accusations at the floor of the assembly, the top administrative officials of Hunza – Nagar district had been removed and transferred elsewhere.

Hundreds of cases were registered against youth of Hunza, under anti-terrorism law, on the charges of arson, rioting and damaging government properties. Many of the accused were released later by the anti-terrorism court of Gilgit for lack of evidence, while many were declared absconders. The court also directed confiscation of moveable and immovable properties of several of the absconders.

Sher Afzal and his father, Sher Ullah Baig, were shot dead in Aliabad Hunza on August 11, 2011, leading to a massive unrest in the region

Initially there was news that cases have been registered against the police officials who were directly involved in shooting of two IDPs, father and son, belonging to the disaster struck Ayeenabad village in Gojal valley, upper Hunza. The two men had died after a policeman opened fire on them on the instruction of his senior, apparently to clear a road the protesters had blocked.

The incident enraged the entire Gilgit – Baltistan region and thousands of people protested held in Chilas, Gilgit, Ghizar and Hunza – Nagar, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, demanding justice for the IDPs.

The failure of GB government to take punitive action against the policemen, despite of the presence of clear evidence, has caused an uproar in the valley. Leaders of various parties, groups and committees, including APML, Hunza Aman Committee, Progressive Youth Front  and Labour Party, have hinted at restarting a mass movement to get justice.

Leader of PYF, Bana Jan, has been in jail for the past two months, after he surrendered himself in front of the police. His party members have accused the government of torturing Baba Jan and depriving him of basic facilities inside the prison.

Delaying the issue indefinitely will build social tension, while also putting a question mark on the performance of the judiciary, while bringing even more bad name for the government.

Those involved in the murder of the two IDPs and those who used the opportunity to spread violence should be brought to the book. Punishing the public and delaying punitive action against DSP Babar and the Sepoy will not serve the purpose of justice. Across-the-board justice is the only way out of this tragic episode of GB’s history.

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