Woman faints seeing his son beaten up at Borit village, Motorcycle torched
Administration fails to stop the fight, several labourers critically injured
Clashes started between two groups of labourers, belonging to Nagar and Gojal, and spread to the region
People of Hunza – Nagar condemn the mafia violence, demand justice and equal opportunity
Hussaini/Aliabad/Gilgit, August 6: A group of more than 300 men, many of them heavily armed, attacked the Hussaini and Borit Village of Gojal Valley today. The heavily armed “labourers” shot in the air and surrounded the Hussaini Village, while pelting stones on houses and women who were busy in daily chores.
The attackers came in retaliation to an earlier fight between two groups near the Hussaini Village, in which around 15 labourers belonging to one of the groups were severely beaten and injured. A large number of local youth, who were busy playing a volley tournament, had joined the fight and harshly beaten the non-local labourers.
After the initial clash rumours spread in the entire region and hundreds of labourers from Sost, Attabad spillway and Nagar started to move towards Hussaini Village to teach the local labourers a lesson. The labourers coming from Sost were stopped at Passu but enraged and armed mobs reached Hussaini from Attabad and started indiscriminate aerial firing.
The police force completely failed to calm down the situation, due to lack of men-in-uniform.
A group of the armed attackers took position on Borith village, located above Hussaini and kept firing in the air. At Borith, a tiny hamlet, the attackers broke into two houses and severely beat up a guy named Fareed, son of a local hotel owner. Mother of Fareed could not bear the merciless beating of her unarmed son at the hands of the gang and fainted. When she was being taken to a hospital in the vehicle of SP Tufail, the mob also attacked the vehicle and reportedly roughed up the senior police official, along with Fareed and other people present in the vehicle. The heavily armed attackers came in boats from spillway of the dammed Hunza River.
Several police officials were beaten up early in the day when the two groups had started fighting each other. Windows of police vehicles had also been smashed by the attackers.
The people of Hussaini and adjacent villagers were afraid due to the attack and there was an extreme sense of insecurity in the entire region. It is pertinent to note that people of Gojal Valley had voluntarily handed over their licensed and non-licensed weapons to the government some years ago, so there was no retaliatory firing from the besieged, unarmed, people.
Local leaders and officials of the administration tried to pacify the feuding groups but remained unsuccessful. The negotiations continued late into the night, without much positive result.
Protests in Aliabad Hunza
A demonstration was held in Aliabad Hunza to protest against the attack on Hussaini and Borit Village. A group of youth gathered at the main Karakuram Highway in Aliabad and burnt tyres to register their protest against the failure of the government and administration to control the situation and protect the unarmed people of Hussaini Village.
Coordination efforts in Gilgit
A delegation of the Gilgit based people of Gojal Valley have forwarded an application to the Force Commander of FCNA, informing him about the incident.
Political leaders of Hunza – Nagar gathered at Karimabad to discuss the issue and find a peaceful solution. Speaker GBLA, Wazir Baig, and other MLAs from Hunza and Nagar were also present at the meeting.
Appeals for peace and dialogue
Majority of the people in Gojal Valley and other parts of Hunza – Nagar have condemned the violence and urged the administration to ensure better law and order situation in the region.
Social and political leaders, officials of the administration and ordinary people of the region have said that violence and unrest are not going to solve any of the issues or grievances.
Justice and equal opportunity are the way forward, leaders told told the enraged youth in Hussaini, while trying to calm down the situation. The youth were urged the to not resort to violence for finding solutions to issues.