Balochistan not to make Kharotabad report public


The Nation

QUETTA – Judicial Tribunal formed to investigate the murder of five foreigners, three of them women, in Kharotabad in the outskirts of Quetta, has submitted its report to Balochistan government.

Five foreigners, including four Russian and a Tajik national, were allegedly shot dead by Frontier Corps and police personnel near an FC picket in Kharotabad on May 17.

The police and FC alleged that they were terrorists and wearing suicide jackets and possessing explosives. However, neither suicide jackets nor explosives or handgrenades were recovered from the suspects.

Official sources said the Balochistan government had received the report consisting of 100 pages from the judicial tribunal. However, the government had not made the report public so far and officials were avoiding to comment by saying that it would be premature to pass any remarks.

Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani had appointed the tribunal after residents of area and media raised questions about killing of the foreigners. The tribunal comprising a judge of Balochistan High Court Justice Hashim Kakar after holding a month-long hearing completed its report. The tribunal recorded the statements of 28 witnesses, including police, FC officials and private witnesses.

A photojournalist Jamal Tarakai also produced a film of the incident during the probe. The court also sought footages from TV channels in which the victims were shown lying injured near the picket while one of the women raising and waving her hand presumably as a gesture of surrender.

The key witness driver who brought the victims from Kuchlak to Quetta had retracted from his statement twice and in his final statement he told the judicial tribunal that he was intimidated by police officials and he gave the first statement under duress.

He said he saw nothing except cloth, bottles of shampoos and books.
However, police had produced detonators recovered from the suspects.

The Police Surgeon Dr Baqar Shah who conducted autopsies of the bodies had also refuted the claims of police that five foreigners had died due to explosion caused by a handgrenade explosion. He told the tribunal that all the victims died of bullet wounds and a pregnant woman of seven months was among the dead.

Key witnesses, journalist Jamal Tarakai and police surgeon had been allegedly tortured by police personnel soon after they recorded their statements before tribunal.

Monitoring Desk adds: The Balochistan government has decided not to make public the report submitted by the Judicial Tribunal after completing the inquiry into Kharotabad incident. Sources told BBC that the reason behind not to make the report public is govt’s fear that media will wrongly project the outcome of the inquiry.

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