CHAMAN/QUETTA: A Major development occurred in the Barkhan murders case on Wednesday night as the Levies Force recovered a woman and her five children including a girl, who were allegedly abducted by Balochistan Minister for Construction and Communications Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran.
The operation was conducted in the light of allegations levelled by Khan Muhammad Marri — the man whose three family members had been murdered — against Khetran for keeping his children in a “private jail”.
Marri’s allegations had come after the discovery of bullet-riddled bodies of three people from a well in the Barkhan district, a gruesome incident that sparked protests across Balochistan for the recovery of missing persons. Meanwhile, the accused minister — who denied any involvement in the brutal murders — had also been taken into custody by police.
However, during the search operations, Marri’s wife, Giran Naz, who was presumed dead, along with her children Farzana, Abdul Majeed, Abdul Ghaffar, Imran and Abdul Sattar were recovered, the Levies officials said.
The force took action in the areas of Kohlu, Dakki, Barkhan and Dera Bugti as Khan Muhammad Marri’s family was held hostage at different locations.
The Levies Quick Response Force conducted operations in East Balochistan and South Punjab to recover the hostages, it said. The force also foiled an attempt to transfer the two kidnapped boys to Punjab.
No arrests were made in the operations, the Levies Force added.
Sharing further details, the Levies Force said that Naz and her children have been kept under the protection of a law enforcement agency.
The pictures of the recovered people have also surfaced. In one of the pictures, Naz and her children are seen walking with the Levies personnel after being rescued, while in the other a Levies official is seen covering the woman with a shawl.
Specifying the locations, the Levies officials said that Naz, Farzana and Imran were recovered from Kohlu, Chamalang and Dakki in the border area of Bala Dhaka, respectively. Meanwhile, Majeed was recovered from Dakki, and Ghaffar and Sattar from Kohlu and Dera Bugti, respectively, they added.
Police complete autopsy of deceased
Meanwhile, the police completed the autopsy of the bodies found in the well.
Police Surgeon Dr Aisha Faiz, who performed the post-mortems, revealed that one of the deceased was a 17 to 18-year-old female. She said that the deceased was raped and tortured before being shot dead.
The medico-legal officer said that the autopsy finds that the woman was shot thrice in the head and her face and neck were mutilated with acid to hide her identity. She said that the girl may not be Giran Naz but her daughter.
Moreover, the other two were also tortured before being killed, she added.
Balochistan minister arrested
On Wednesday, Khetran had been arrested for his alleged connection with the gruesome murder of three people, the police said.
“Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran is accused of murdering three people and that is why he has been taken into custody,” police had said, as the protesters continued their sit-in for the third consecutive day in Quetta demanding justice.
The protesters — who had staged a sit-in along with the three bodies at the Fayyaz Sumbal Chowk — were demanding a case be registered against Khetran, his ministry taken away, and the five people in captivity be recovered.
Late Tuesday night, the police had also raided the minister’s residence to recover Marri’s five children and sealed roads leading to Khetran’s house in Quetta’s Patel Bagh.
A spokesperson for the police had shared that a special investigation team was interrogating the minister and raids were being conducted to recover the “kidnapped” people.
“More arrests are expected in the murder of a mother and her two sons. A few days back, the woman had issued a video message claiming that she was in Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran’s prison,” the spokesperson had added.
“Days after the woman’s video message came to the fore, she and her sons were found dead in a well in a well in Barkhan,” the spokesperson had said.
When the pressure grew on the police, they registered a case against unknown persons under Sections 34 (doing any act with intention of causing harm to any person), 202 (Causing disappearance of evidence of the offence, or giving false information to screen offender), and 302 (qatl-i-amd) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
After coming under severe criticism, Khetran had denied allegations of involvement in the murders and claimed to be a “peaceful and law-abiding person”.
“Accusations of owning a private prison and the murder of three people is a conspiracy to damage my political reputation,” he had said, adding that his house was searched by the previous government as well.
“Had there been a jail, it would have been discovered,” he insisted, “However, if anyone is still in doubt, they can check my house.”
He had further stated that the allegations were a “sinister attempt” to deprive him of the “right of regional politics”.