Police Raid And Arrest Villagers Protesting Foreign VIP Hunters' Activities In Thar

Police Raid And Arrest Villagers Protesting Foreign VIP Hunters' Activities In Thar
Khairpur Police booked as many as 40 villagers who were protesting against the hunting of rare species of wildlife by Arab princes in Nara and Khipro areas of Sanghar district. Reports indicate that on Wednesday, hundreds of people of Achhro Thar protested against the hunting of rare species of birds by the Arab princes.

Local residents Ali Nawaz, Abdul Wahid and others say that the federal as well as Sindh governments are facilitating the royal visitors to hunt the ‘Special Birds’ species of the Thar desert in Khairpur and Sanghar districts. They say that the Arab princes had set up hunting camps at Babal Bhitt and other areas, and that the hunting activities are affecting the locals’ lives, resulting in restricted movement. They add that cases were registered against them after they tried to register their peaceful protest on the tracks paved for the hunters.
Moreover, in their view, the hunting of precious birds by the Arab hunters was not acceptable, because it destroys the fodder of their cattle. They demand the stoppage of such hunting and elimination of the hunting camps from the Achhro Thar area of Khairpur and Sanghar districts.

Meanwhile, Khewari Police of Khairpur reached the protest camp of the villagers at Bulbul Camp to end their protest. However when they refused to disperse from their protest, the Khewari Police registered FIR against over 40 protesters – arresting Alam, Abdullah Rajar and some others.

Ghulam Mustafa Rajar tells reporters that SSP Khairpur Malik Zafar Iqbal, along with a front-man for the Arab hunters, Pervez Ahmed, carried out raids on their houses and set them on fire. He requests that the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Sindh and other authorities take notice of the destructive hunting and ensure the rights of the people of Thar desert.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has issued a statement calling for those arrested to be released.

The writer can be reached at hanifsamoon@gmail.com