Sunday, May 23, 2010
By PFF correspondent
Hundreds of fishermen in Karachi coastal areas, different towns in Thatta and Badin districts and fresh waters of Sindh staged protest rallies to condemn the military operation and brutality of police against law abiding fishermen of Chashma Goth and neighbourhood, said a Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) spokesman.
The community people addressed the rallies to condemn the brutal action in which six poor women and children were injured by police force, while the people also came out to protest against the building of wall around the old graveyard.
Hundreds of fishermen, PFF activists and civil society leaders staged rallies in Sehwan, Dadu, Sanghar, Thatta, Badin, Jatti, Kashmore, Qambar, Sukkur, Kandhkot and other areas in protest. The protestors called the operation a brutal action which should be condemned widely and urged the government to take notice of this and stop occupation of graveyard. The community activists said that their lives and livelihoods were already at stake due to various problems and now government agencies are grabbing the land, playgrounds and graveyards.
They also condemned the FIR against the poor villagers and arrest of few people from the victim community. They demanded to lodge FIR against the real culprits, who were involved in cruel actions.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum leaders announced to observe complete shutter down strike in the entire coastal areas and other fresh water bodies, Sanghar, Dadu, Sehwan, Qambar and Kashmore to condemn military action against the poor fishermen.
PFF Chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the illegal action to grab the old graveyard, which the community people of eight villages have been using since the time of their forefathers.
Earlier, the Military officials held meetings with the community people and realising the plea allowed them to visit their graveyard. But recently, when the army tried to build wall around the land, the community took stand and opposed the action. In result, under the tutelage of army personnel, police resorted to baton charge and firing on the community