Activists hold candlelight vigil for martyrs of Attabad
by EJAZ KARIM
HUNZA: Nationalist and progressive activists of Inqilabi Socialists Hunza, Awami Workers Party (AWP) Hunza and Balore Research Forum arranged a candle light vigil in Hunza on Tuesday in memory of the martyrs of Attabad Lake, who were
gunned down by police on August 11, 2011, in Ali Abad Hunza.This all began on January 4, 2010, when a devastating mountain landslide into the Hunza River, caused the formation of a lake – called Attabad Lake.
On August 11, 2011, families affected by the Lake came to the streets peacefully to demand compensation and resettlement. Amid a peaceful protest, police started baton-charging people to clear Karakoram Highway (KKH) for Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah – who was expected to visit the valley.
Eventually, the police opened fire on peaceful protesters to disperse them, as a result of which two of the protesters—Afzal Baig and his father Sherullah Baig died. Meanwhile, the local police station was ransacked and torched by the protesting public. Police registered cases and arrested hundreds of innocent people including numerous educated youth. A judicial inquiry was done; however, the report has not been made public yet.
People from various walks of life attended the event of candlelight vigil in Aliabad main bazaar to mark the fourth anniversary of the tragedy – the killing of father and son – by police on Aug 11, 2011. Speakers castigated the previous government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and demanded the current government of PML-N release political activists, comrade Baba Jan, Iftiqar and Shukurullah.
A speaker Ikramullah Baig urged GB Chief Minister Hafizur Rehman to “stop political victimisation and close all the fake cases manufactured under the Anti Terrorist Act (ATA) against political activists – Baba Jan, Iftiqar and Shukurullah Baig – and release them immediately and compensate the victims of Attabad as PML-N leadership promised during their election campaign”. Another speaker comrade Zahoor, organiser of AWP Hunza, said “the ultimate demand of people of Hunza is to make public the judicial commission’s report on the tragedy and bring the killer of the father and son to justice”. Daily Times