164 Bullet-Riddled Bodies Found in Balochistan in 2014

The people in Balochistan are eager to know about the facts regarding mass graves in their land.


Credit: Express Tribune

According to a home department report, at least 164 bullet-riddled bodies have been found in Balochistan during the last 12 months.

Of the victims, the report says 71 have been identified as ethnic Baloch, 35 Pashtun, 19 other ethnicities, while 41 victims could not be identified.

Among the dead bodies, 80 were found in Quetta, 41 in Kalat division; comprising Khuzdar and Mastung districts; 41 in Makran division; comprising Panjgur, Gwadar and Turbat districts; six in Nasirabad division; 13 in Zhob district; and eight in Sibi Division, said the report.

Home department (Balochistan) report claims that targeted killings have dropped by over 30 percent in 2014 as around 275 people have been killed in targeted attacks, while there had been 531 such killings in 2013.

Among the victims of targeted attacks, 80 were from the Hazara community, 35 were police officials, 34 Frontier Corps personnel, 25 Balochistan Levies officials, 30 settlers, six sectarian, five Sunni Muslim scholars and 41 others. Similarly, 19 people have been killed in attacks on passenger trains.

250 bombings, including three suicide attacks, have been reported across Balochistan in 2014. At least 49 people have been killed and 436 wounded in these explosions. Moreover, two persons have been killed and five wounded in around 192 rocket attacks. There have been 42 landmine blasts—mostly in Dera Bugti—which claimed 12 lives. Sixty-six hand grenade attacks have also been reported in 2014 which killed six people and wounded 82 others.

Levies personnel recovered three bullet-riddled bodies from Balochistan’s Turbat district on Tuesday. Levies sources told that the bodies were found in the Mand area of Turbat. Local residents in Mand had spotted the bodies and had informed Levies personnel.

The bodies were later shifted to a hospital for identification. A large number of people gathered at the hospital to see the bodies, Levies said.

“The victims had received multiple bullet wounds,” Levies sources said, adding that the victims were shot from a close range.

Police and other law enforcement agencies reached the spot immediately and a probe into the incident was launched. According to Voice for Baloch Missing (VBMP), a human rights organization struggling for the safe release of Baloch missing persons in Balochistan, more than 2,000 dead bodies have been found in Balochistan in the last five years—all of whom were Baloch political activists.

A large number of family members of missing persons gathered at the hospital for identification of the bodies, a doctor in the hospital said on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the matter.

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According to sources in the Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Department, so far 53 mutilated bodies have been found in Quetta, Khuzdar, Turbat, Panjgur and other troubled areas of the province during the current year.

However, Baloch nationalist groups say the figure is higher than what was being quoted by the officials. A shutter down strike was observed on Thursday in Kharan, Panjgur and other parts of Balochistan on the call of the Baloch Varna Movement against the killings. Strict security measures were put in place to ensure peace during the strike.

UnsuccessfullyNasrullah Baloch looks towards international human rights organizations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations to pressure Islamabad for a thorough and transparent investigation.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, vice chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, states that the number of dead bodies found in mass graves in Khuzdar is more than 165. Previously, Mama Qadeer Baloch led a long march for the recovery of Baloch missing persons. According to Qadeer Baloch approximately 1,500 persons were killed and more than 18,000 were missing from Balochistan including 170 females and 169 children.

The Home and Tribal Affairs Department recently shared that over 800 bodies were found in Balochistan during last three-and-a-half years, with most of them being found in Quetta, Khuzdar and Makran belt.

The people in Balochistan are eager to know about the facts regarding mass graves in their land. However, according to the Home Department they could not make the report public at this point in time and it would be made public after the arrival of Abdul Malik Baloch, chief minister Balochistan.

Hundreds of dead bodies of Baloch doctors, teachers, lawyers, student leaders, intellectuals and journalists have been found in past years, whose extra judicial murder is a great loss for the Baloch nation. If the report is made public about mass graves, somehow, it will be great moral support to the people of Balochistan and may create confidence building measures between Islamabad and alienated Baloch.

Home Secretary Durrani said 22 cases of kidnapping for ransoms have occurred in Quetta—of which 17 people have been recovered. “The police have busted around seven gangs of kidnappers,” he revealed. He claimed that the law and order has improved by around 70 percent compared to the last two years.

Mir Behram Baloch is a journalist covering government and social issues in Balochistan. Read other articles by Mir.