Pakistan: protest against murder attempt on union rights campaigner

TURCP campaigners and social rights activists condemn police inaction

More than 250 TURCP (Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan) members and political and social activists attended a protest demonstration in late December 2006, organized by TURCP Tharari Mohabat district, Dadu, in Sindh, against the failed murder attempt of TURCP member and local teachers’ union leader, Abdul Fattah. A local criminal shot at and seriously injured Abdul Fattah. He received bullet injuries in the head. His condition in hospital was critical. The criminals fled their homes after injuring Fattah.

The TURCP organized this demonstration to put pressure on the police to arrest the criminals. The police did not show any interest in arresting the culprits, and were, in reality, siding with the criminals. These were not only threatening the family members of the injured comrade but also other leading TURCP members, in an attempt to stop them from supporting Abdul Fattah’s case.

Strike threat

A TURCP protest demonstration forced the police to arrest one criminal, but others are still at large. TURCP and Sindh Shehri Ittehad (a confederation of local organizations) jointly decided to start a protest campaign demanding the arrest of criminals. The leaders of the protest campaign announced a call for a strike in the town to protests against the attack. When the police saw the angry mood of the demonstrators, they acted immediately to try to prove their impartiality, but, in practice, they are still siding with the criminals.

This is not the first time that local criminals, police and feudal lords have formed an alliance against a TURCP member. In August, this year, the police registered 2 false and baseless cases at the behest of local feudal lords against TURCP Sindh Organiser, Hameed Chanah. Later, a local court declared both the cases as fabricated and false, and quashes the case against Hameed Chanah. The local police chief was also transferred.

The local feudal lords are not happy with increased activities and influence of the TURCP and Socialist Movement Pakistan (SMP – CWI) members in the area. The TURCP and SMP members are working courageously in extremely difficult circumstances. Their morale is very high and they vow to continue their struggle against feudalism and capitalism.

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January 2007