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Five tribesmen killed in shootout in Qazi Ahmed  

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HYDERABAD: The SHO and five Bhand tribesmen were shot dead and 10 others were injured in the attack, which was an offshoot of a dispute over possession of 800 acres farmland near Nawab Wali Mohammad town in the riverine area.

The aggrieved relatives had kept bodies of their dead loved ones on the highway, which were washed during the protest and placed within ice slabs to slow down decomposition process. SHO of Mirzapur station Inspector Abdul Hameed Khoso’s body was taken away by his heirs.

Bhands refuse to bury their dead until killers arrested

Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Riaz leader Riaz Ali Chandio, Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party leader Gulzar Soomro, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz leader Dr Niaz Kalani, Naz Mukhtiar Dharejo alias Waderi Nazo Dharejo, Pakistan Peoples’ Party-Shaheed Bhutto leader Feroz Lashari, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Qari Abdul Qayyum, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Inayat Rind, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Shafiq Arain, Youth Action Committee leader Sindhu Nawaz Ghangro and others also joined the protest and expressed solidarity with the demonstrators.

The leaders demanded registration of murders case against PPP MPA Haji Ali Hassan Zardari, Mohsin Zardari, Abid Zardari, Shahzado Zardari, Saleh Zardari, Muharram Memon and others.

Bhand community alleged that Mohsin Zardari and Abid Zardari were staking their claim on the agricultural land inside riverine area of Deh Bhambhai, Benazirabad district. The dispute was not settled even after a jirga led by Mir Manzoor Panhwar, a former Sindh minister, decided it.

They demanded recovery of Ghulam Hyder Bhand and Mahmood Mahar whose whereabouts had remained unknown and said that possession of the land should be handed over to them (Bhand) failing which the bodies would not be buried.

Syed Zain Shah, who had led similar protest previously as well said while addressing the protesters that similar protests would be staged across Sindh on Monday to press for immediate arrest of the culprits and if the demands were not met shutdown strike would be observed on Tuesday.

He said that it was a brazen attack by Zardaris and not an ’armed clash’ between two groups. “If they didn’t mend their ways even after that we will block their paths,” he said. He said that police had not registered FIR which showed the land was occupied under police patronage. “Villagers are settled here for years,” he said.

Dr Niaz Kalani said that it was earlier decided that mukhtiarkar of Qazi Ahmed would look after the lands. “Lands belong to Bhands who have villages here. You [Zardaris] come from the other side to occupy their land with government support on the basis of fake documents and harvest their crop. It will never happen,” he said.

Riaz Chandio accused Asif Ali Zardari of occupying entire Sindh and wondered how much land he needed.

STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, at a condolence reference held for Dr Rajab Ali Memon, former STP secretary general, called for Sindh-wide strike on Feb 15 against five Bhand tribesmen and SHO’s murder in armed attack.

The land in question – around 800 acres – was owned by Bhand, Sangra and Mahar communities. Zardaris claimed to own close to 400 acres as per papers they had produced but Bhands dispute their claim, saying the documents were forged in connivance with revenue authorities.

The land was owned by Legharis in the past but it was cut up into small pieces and allotted to Bhands under land reforms introduced during Gen Ayub’s government. Later, the land was leased out to them during Nawaz Sharif’s government under his government’s land distribution programme.

According to Zain Shah, large tracts of land other than the disputed one, was also occupied by Zardaris. After last year’s protest when Bhands were dispossessed, the district administration had intervened and settled them in their homes inside riverine area.

Manzoor Panhwar led a jirga on Jan 5 and decided the land would be maintained by mukhtiarkar till the jirga announced its verdict. The documents produced by Zardaris were to be verified before announcing the verdict.

Bhands then moved Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad circuit bench, fearing that since the mukhtiarkar did not take custody of the land the Panhwar-led jirga’s decision, too, would not be implemented.

Police had initially decided to lodge Bhand community’s FIR but when they insisted on nominating some important Zardari clansmen police had cold feet and their delayed lodging the case.

STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi called for Sindh-wide strike on Feb 15 against five Bhand tribesmen and SHO’s murder in armed attack. He was speaking at a condolence reference held for Dr Rajab Ali Memon, former STP secretary general.

DADU: Zain Shah continued that Nawabshah police had arrested a large number of relatives of the Bhand victims. Zardari tribesmen had created terror in the area and they were occupying farmland and private properties of people at gunpoint with police support, he said.

LARKANA: Activists of Awami Tehreek demonstrated outside local press club on Sunday against the Nawab Wali Mohammad town incident.

The party leaders regretted that instead of enforcing law police were siding with Zardaris. Police acted like agent of land-grabbers, they alleged.

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