Thursday May 17, 2018
QUETTA: The Supreme Court ordered a sessions judge on Thursday to ensure distribution of compensation to families of labourers killed in a targetted attack in Balochistan.
Moreover, the top court directed the Okara police to provide protection to the families.
Six labourers were shot dead in Kharan area of Balochistan on May 4 as they were working on a private mobile operator's tower.
During the hearing of a suo motu case, initiated by the chief justice, in the Supreme Court Quetta Registry today, family members of the deceased complained that they buried their loved ones peacefully even though they were killed in acts terrorism.
The families of the victims also said that they are being threatened.
When Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who heads the bench, inquired who is threatening them, the families named a local landlord of Okara and pleaded for protection.
With regards to the compensation issue, the counsel of the mobile phone company said each deceased's family will be given Rs1 million along with a monthly stipend of Rs20,000 for three years.
Moreover, the additional advocate general of Punjab said the provincial government will give Rs1 million per family whereas the Balochistan government also submitted its compensation programme in court stating that it will give Rs1 million for each of the deceased's families and Rs0.5 million to the injured person’s family.
Ensuring the provision of compensation, Justice Bandial ordered the Balochistan and Punjab governments to submit the compensation amount to the district and sessions judge of Okara.
The judge will distribute the amount to the victims’ families, the court ruled.
The court also ordered the police to provide protection to the families.
The hearing was then adjourned until the first week of June.
No one had claimed responsibility for the incident. However, various militant groups in Balochistan carry out attacks against ethnic minorities working in the province.
Two of the six deceased, Amanat and Javed, were brothers, while the rest were identified as Mohammad Shahzad, Muhammad Waqas, Fajhar Rafeeq and Mazhar Fareed — all residents of Okara, Punjab.
Separately, the two-member bench comprising Justice Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, heard a suo motu case on the disbursement of compensation to the affectees of the Quetta church attack today.
On May 12, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had ordered Balochistan government to ensure disbursement of compensation to the affectees of the Quetta church attack within one month.
A representative of the Christian community informed the court today that Rs7.2million from the amount allotted by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has yet to be released.
“Why is it taking so long to release the compensation amount,” asked Justice Ahsan. The deputy commissioner of Quetta informed the court that the compensation was delayed due to the delay in the medico-legal report.
“Does it take 5-months to prepare a medico-legal report,” Justice Ahsan questioned.
The court then summoned the oaths of the committee members responsible for disbursing compensation amount to the affectees.
On December 17, 2017, nine people were killed and over 50 others were injured after two suicide bombers stormed Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, following which the centre and provincial government announced compensation for the affectees.