HRCP accuses police of illegally detaining 4 men
By Ahmed Raza
HYDERABAD: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday accused Sanghar police of unlawfully detaining four men from a local village in reprisal for the release of a peasant family by the Sindh High Court (SHC), Hyderabad circuit.
Aftab Chaudhry, HRCP coordinator for bonded labour in Hyderabad, said in a press release that the police arrested farmers Ghulam Akbar and Iqbal Hussain and two of their labourers, whose names were not given, in a raid on Suleman Lakhi village in Sakrand taluka of Nawabshah district on June 22.
Mr Chaudhry said they were being detained illegally at Berani police station, and when the commission contacted the police, they were informed that the detainees were picked up as revenge for the release of a peasant family by the SHC. He said the Sanghar district police officer (DPO) had not responded to repeated calls for an explanation by the HRCP.
An HRCP official said the farmers arrested were the employers of the family earlier released from bonded labour. The SHC released the family after a peasant, Chunno, moved the court seeking the release of 12 of his relatives, including women and children, from bonded labour for landlord Qadir Khaskheli in Sanghar. The court ordered the release of the family and directed the defendants to move a civil court for the recovery of the debt they were owed by the family.
After being freed, the family migrated to Suleman Lakhi and started working for local landlords. However, Sanghar police allegedly harassed them with repeated raids, and arrested their landlords and two labourers when they couldn’t find them there on June 22.