Posted by: Editor | April 11, 2012

Hazara killings: Victims of sectarian violence laid to rest

By Shehzad Baloch – Express Tribune

QUETTA: Six people who were earlier killed in sectarian targeted attacks were buried in their ancestral graveyard in Hazara Town and Marriabad on Tuesday amid strict security measures in Quetta.

The funeral prayers of four victims were offered in Hazara graveyards in eastern-bypass and two in Marriabad. Scores of religious scholars and leaders of Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) participated in the funeral prayers.

Six people belonging to Hazara community were killed and three others injured when a group of armed men on two motorbikes opened fire at a shoe-making shop at Prince Road on Monday night. All the victims were shoe-makers. The banned outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) claimed responsibility for the killings.

Talking to the media, President of Shia Conference Ashraf Zaidi said that the government is not serious to book the culprits behind the targeted killings of Hazara community.

“We are patriotic Pakistanis and will not leave Quetta out of fear,” he said. “Neither Baloch nor Pashtuns are our enemy because a handful of criminals are trying to create serious law and order problem in the city by targeting the Hazara community.”

The mourners raised slogans against the government and the law enforcment agencies for their failure to curb sectarian targeted killings in Quetta.

Stringent security measures have been adopted across Quetta with the deployment of security forces and police to maintain public order. Most of the shops on Prince Road remained closed to mourn the deaths.

The patrolling police party of City Police Station within the jurisdiction of the incident was suspended following the directives of Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani.

A police inspector and six other personnel were suspended soon after the incident.

The police have conducted raids in different parts of Quetta and detained dozens of suspects for interrogation. Three separate teams of Central Investigation Department (CID), Investigation and District Police were constituted to investigate the killings.

DIG Operations Qazi Wahid said the incident could be a reaction to a recent crackdown against target killers. “Police are making their utmost efforts to control the situation,” he said.

According to an official of Balochistan Government, the chief minister warned the police that the concerned police officers will be suspended if any targeted killing takes place in their jurisdiction.

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