The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the authorities of Sindh University, Jamshoro, Sindh province are allegedly involved in disappearance of the students. It is alleged that they used police and spies from the state intelligence agencies in an effort to hide malpractices and corruption in the university. The disappeared students had filed a petition in the Sindh provincial High Court for the denial of their basic rights to access of better education facilities but the authorities connived with the law enforcement authorities to cause the students to be disappeared punish so that the state would be blamed as responsible not the authorities.
The prominent student activists were arrested by the police and plain clothed persons from a crowded market place and have been missing for four months. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. Since last one year 10 persons from different nationalist groups are missing after their arrest.
Mr. Azal Ali Panhwar son of Munawar Ali Panhwar, student of M.sc. Biochemistry, Sindh University, Jamshoro, resident of Allama I. I. Qazi hostel block, filed a constitutional petition, number 863 of 2011 on May 11, 2011, seeking the provision of all student facilities according to the catalogue and student’s activities calendar 2011 (STAGS) and the expulsion of police personnel from the student hostels of the university. He mentioned in his petition that since 2008 the internet services, the university buses to the students, study tours and sports facilities had not been provided which were promised in the student’s activities calendar and for which students have paid their fees. Besides this, the students are deprived of hostel facilities as police force has been provided residence in the hostels. The students have to reside in rented houses and this is an extra financial burden on top of the university fees. Furthermore, there are no doctors in the dispensaries. He also submitted the signatures of 28 students who have written a memorandum to the vice chancellor of the university asking for the provision of all basic facilities to the students.
As his petition was being heard in the Sindh high court, the police and plain clothed persons arrested Panhwar on June 26, just one month after his petition, from the Hyder Chowk, near Rabia plaza, a crowded market place, at 6.00 pm when he was returning from the university. To arrest him the police used half a dozen vehicles and the police party was headed by Mr. Fareed Jan Sarhandi, the District Police Officer (DPO) of the Hyderabad district, Sindh province. The plain clothed persons pushed him into one of the vehicles which did not have a registration number. The victim’s brother and other family members contacted the DPO who assured them that the intelligence agencies took him for some investigation and that he would be released soon. Now, however, he denies any knowledge of Mr. Panhwar’s whereabouts.
Mr. Azal Ali Panhwar is a student leader of the University and belongs to the Jeay Sindh Muttehda Mahaz, a nationalist organisation working for the greater autonomy of Sindh. Especially where its natural resources are concerned as they are presently under the control of federal government and the military of Pakistan.
It is alleged that three more students have been disappeared but their family members do not want to report them. They believe that if their news of their disappearance is leaked they would be killed in the same fashion that is happening in Balochistan. This is where people are arrested and disappeared and within some days their dead bodies are found on the road side.
Another nationalist leader, Mr. Sana Ullah Bhatti, resident of house number 1234/74 Civil Hospital road, Tando Muhammad Khan, Sindh, was arrested by the police and the plain clothed persons lead by the same DPO on July 2, when Bhatti and his friend Yaqoob Mallah were coming from Tando Muhammad Khan. As they reached Giddu Chowk, Hyderabad, Sindh province, the DPO stopped them and Bhatti was pushed into a vehicle which, as in the previous incident, did not bear a registration plate. Since then his whereabouts are unknown. The DPO has since denied that he has arrested him. However, Yaqoob Mallah states that he witnessed Bhatti’s arrest and that the DPO was definitely involved.
Mr. Faraz Ali Bhatti, Sana Ullah Bhatti ‘s nephew has filed a case of habeas corpus for his release in the Sindh high court.
The disappearances in the Sindh province are common since the war on terror and particularly after the induction of civil government.
On 11 April 2011, around a dozen activists from Jeay Sindh Mutehda Mahaz (JSMM), a Sindhi speaking nationalist group struggling for greater autonomy of the people of Sindh province on their resources, were returning to their cities after completing a six day hunger strike in front of Karachi Press Club for the recovery of their leader, Mr. Muzaffar Bhutto, who has been missing since 25 February. When they ended their hunger strike they went to a local restaurant close to the inter-city bus terminus. The activists took three wheelers to take the bus but before reaching the bus two double cabin jeeps bearing no registration numbers and one police jeep stopped one three wheeler and off loaded four persons namely, Riaz Kakepoto, district president of Nawabshah city of JSMM, Shah Nawaz Bhutto, president of Daulatpur town, Ali Nawab Mehar member district committee of the organization at Nawabshah and Jam Bhutto, activist at Nwabshah city, Sindh province, and dragged them in to unregistered jeeps by the plain clothed persons. The police stopped the traffic flow from main road and cleared the way for the unregistered jeeps to take away the activists. Since then their whereabouts are unknown.
Two other Sindhi activists were reportedly abducted in October 2009 and since then their families have not heard from them. Aakash Mallah, Vice Chairman of the Sindh nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), and JSQM activist Noor Mohammad Khaskheli, were abducted on 30 October 2009, in Sindh province, south-eastern Pakistan (For further information, please see the previous urgent appeal: AHRC-UAC-040-2011). Local sources allege the two men were subjected to enforced disappearances by government security officials. There have been a series of court hearings on the case since then and two officers of the Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), have faced allegations by the police for carrying out the abduction. But still the whereabouts of the two men remain unknown and intelligence agencies have rejected the allegations that the two men are held in their custody.
A list of missing persons from Sindh during the year 2011
1.Muzafar Bhutto: Muzafar Bhutto is general secretary of Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM) he was kidnapped from new Saeedabad toll plaza on 24-02-2011 when he was travelling from sukkar to Hyderabad with his wife Saima Bhutto and his younger brother Shah Nawaz Bhutto. Some officers of the agencies stopped their car and kidnapped Muzafar Bhutto. Since then his whereabouts are unknown.
2. Riaz Kakepoto: Riaz Kakepoto is district president of Nawab Shah city JSMM, he was kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on 11-04-2011 after finishing the 6 day hunger strike for the release of Muzafar Bhutto.
3. Ali Nawab Mahar: Ali Nawab Mahar is member of distract committee Nawab Shah city JSMM, he was also kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi on 11-04-2011 after finishing the 6 day hunger strike for the release of Muzafar Bhutto.
4.Shah Nawaz Bhutto: Shah Nawaz Bhutto is tulka president of Dulatpur city JSMM, he was also kidnapped from Rainbow Center Karachi 11-04-2011 after finishing the 6 day hunger strike for the release of Muzafar Bhutto..
5. Jam Bhutto: Jam Bhutto is member of Nawab Shah city JSMM, he was also kidnapped from rainbow center Karachi after finishing the 6 day hunger strike for the release of Muzafar Bhutto.
6. Agha Yasir: Agha Yasir ws kidnapped from Karachi. He was the divisional organizer of JSMM Karachi. Agha Yasir also the advocates at the Maleer Court of Karachi. After his kidnap Maleer Court judges & advocates boycotted the court for 24 hours.
7. Shafqat Brohi: Shafqat Brohi is the clerk of Maleer Court Karachi and kidnapped with Agha Yasir from Karachi.
8. Afzal Pahnwar: Afzal Pahnwar is a student of the University of Sindh and also president of JSMM university of Sindh, he was kidnapped from Hyderabad city on 26 June 2011
9.Sanaullah Bhatti: Sanaullah Bhatti is District president of Tando Muhammad Khan city he was also kidnapped from Hyderabad city on 2-7-2011
10.Mukhtiar Pahnwar: Mukhtiar Pahnwar is the secretary of JSMM district: Dadu sindh. He was kidnapped on 28-9-2011 from Chandni Chowk at 11 am. According to his relatives he was kidnapped by persons who came in two double cabin vehicles without any registration.
Please write the letters to the following authorities for the release of the disappeared persons from Sindh who are working for the rights of the education and greater autonomy of the Sindh province. Please urge them to stop the menace of disappearances after the arrest and if there are serious crimes against the disappeared persons they should be tried in the court.