Coming out against the death squads | How 4-year-old Bramsh has forced the people of Balochistan to resist and protest

4-year-old Bramsh, just like her name, has sparked process across the province.

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Protesting political parties and civil society organizations have argued that armed groups, not ordinary criminals, are behind many of the robberies. HALEEM BALOCH

 

Bramsh, a four-year-old girl from a small village in the remote border region of Ketch in Balochistan, was injured during a robbery attempt. Her mother was murdered in the same incident. In response to the active dacoit groups in the province, for the first time, there are popular protests across all of Balochistan for justice.

Systematic violence has been the norm for decades in Balochistan’s Makran, but it was rare to witness assaults on children and women. This changed on the night of May the 26th in Dannuk, Turbat.

Three armed men attacked a house where a family was sleeping under the open sky to stay cool – a usual practice in a place like Turbat, where temperatures can reach as high as 50°C.

The men demanded cash and valuables. When the woman, Malik Naz, resisted, she was shot on the spot along with her 4-year-old daughter Bramsh.

The other family members managed to get hold of one of the robbers and handed him over to the local police. Two other suspects have also been detained, yet the alleged leader of the gang is still “nowhere to be found” a week after the event.

Resistance, protests, and condemnation

Just like the meaning of her name, Bramsh has sparked protests across the province. The locals are collectively raising their voices, resisting, and rebelling against the failure of law enforcement agencies, the abuse of power, and years of silence and injustice.

The incident has made the locals of Balochistan realize that they are at risk no matter where when, or who they are: men, women, or even babies.

At first, this spark gave rise to an online campaign, #JusticeForBramsh. Hundreds of people from Balochistan and Pakistani humanitarians, whether based in Pakistan or abroad, participated in the online protest and requested the authorities to intervene.

Due to the silence and government’s inaction for the past week, people in various cities and towns of Balochistan took to the streets demanding justice – the arrest of the alleged leader of the gang and hanging all the criminals involved in the assault.

Even during the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of protesters gathered at Turbat’s “Shaheed Fida Chowk” on the first of June 2020. On June the 2nd, citizens of Bulaida and Washok rallied to question the provincial government’s safety measures and demanded the custody of all the criminals.

A similar demonstration took over the port city of on May the 30th where protesters rallied to Gwadar Press Club to gear up the justice campaign for Bramsh.

The civil society members in the provincial capital of Quetta had also announced they would gather at The Quetta Press Club on June the 4th. A similar protest was held in Karachi in front of Karachi Press Club, and locals in Panjgur also demonstrated at Shaheed Javeed Chowk on June the 3rd to protest the assault.

A protest in Kharan. Photo by Mariyam Suleman.

Protesters in all these cities warned that if all the criminals are not held accountable under the law, the protests would continue and spread to distant towns of Balochistan.

An attack on Baloch ‘honor’

Former Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch has said that there are organized groups behind these incidents that might have a backing. HALEEM BALOCH

For many Balochs, the assault on Bramsh is “very personal” as it is a “direct attack” on “Baloch honor.” In Baloch culture, it is considered an attack on one’s “honor” when the women are assaulted — that too when present in the premises of one’s own house.

However, many question this barbaric, patriarchal, and primitive idea of “honor” and reject any connection between this slogan and the case. They consider the recent attack the result of an absence of law enforcement, continued unauthorized support for such armed gangs in the region, and eternal silence by citizens against aggressive authorities that have been abusing their powers.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.

    Politcal Worker (234 posts)

    Why they are seeking for justice when they know this whole bloody justice system is to prove a bloody thief , liar , money launder judge an innocent and immune to these crimes  this system is not for a  conman person to seek justice 

    Politcal Worker (135 posts)

    If her mum killed by dacoits, why they giving the impression that this is Army’s fault.

    Balochs are right too for some complaints. If you compare the developments in balochistan as compare to other provinces, i think they are far behind from others.

     

    Education, Employment and development can change their perceptions.

    May Allah help us all to live with  harmony.

     

     

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