Boat Basin killing recalls Tando Bahawal carnage

There is stark similarity between Tando Bahawal carnage of June 5, 1992 and killing of Sarfraz Shah by Rangers at Benazir Bhutto Park in Clifton on June 08, 2011. Both the cases were exposed by the media. In both the incident personnel of law enforcement agencies were involved and in both the incident innocents were killed by official rifles and bullets. Again in both incidents the high-ups of law enforcing agencies tried to hush up the matters calling those killed as terrorists and bandits. On June 5, 1992 nine villagers in Tando Bahawal, outskirts of Hyderabad, were killed in a massacre by the army personnel, who alleged that the villagers were terrorists. After journalists produced evidence that victims were farmers involved in a land dispute, the army assumed responsibility for the deaths by convicting and sentencing the involved soldiers and senior officers. However, delaying tactics were adopted to hush up the matter. As the cases proceeded at a snails pace, Hakimzadi and Zaibun Nisa, relatives of those killed at Tando Bahawal, committed self-immolation outside the Anti-Terrorism Court in Hyderabad on September 11, 1996 - a public holiday. Major Arshad Jamil, who stage-managed the killing, was awarded death sentence by the military court and was hanged after two sisters died of serious burns. Major Jamil was hanged on October 28, 1996, and the personnel involved in the incident were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, none of the civilian accused has been hanged. The relatives of those killed at Tando Bahawal had to pay a huge price of their life that gave them the justice when Major Arshad Jamil involved in the brutal killing was sent to gallows. But in Sarfrazs case, the cameraman of a Sindhi TV channel did the trick when he shot the heart wrenching incident that exposed the lies of Sindh Rangers who had described the 18-year-old youngster as a bandit and justified his extrajudicial killing. The video, which was extensively shown on all TV channels, has set in motion the wheel of justice and has even attracted the attention the Chief Justice of Pakistan but the chances of getting justice are distant and difficult. Only two Rangers have been arrested and charged that too after three days delay but a host of others who were encouraging their colleagues to fire and shot the young man have been let off. The most astonishing and shocking part of the whole incident is the part played by two touts/pimps of the law enforcing agencies who were allegedly taking money to allow immoral activities in the park in broad daylight. These two Afsar and Alam Zaib were the persons who handed Sarfraz to Sindh Rangers accusing the youth of being a bandit. The Chief Justice of Pakistan by taking a suo moto notice in the matter has won the heart of the poor masses who are looking forward to a Messiah who could deliver them from tyranny of law enforcers who are on a killing rampage. Sarfrazs death was not the first incident in which Rangers were involved in extra judicial killing. A couple of months back, the Rangers resorted to firing on the mourners at Rizvi Colony, in which one person was killed. In another incident the Rangers sprayed bullets on demonstrators who were protesting against illegal hydrant in Zaman Town, killing one person and injuring other. However, both the incidents were hushed up. Rangers were also involved entering a house during search operation knocking down all the doors and firing tear gas shells in small rooms. Who can forget the highhandedness and unlawful activities of Rangers in Thatta district where some years ago they had stopped fishermen by force from fishing in some specific water and had allegedly confiscate all the catch of poor fishermen. Were Rangers while killing Sarfraz carrying out the authority of shot at sight that Sindh government had granted? This is high time that Sindh government to extract itself from the illegal acts of Rangers, otherwise it will land in serious trouble in the eyes of masses.

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