GB students protest murder of blogger Bilal Khan
By Tanveer Abbas
Islamabad (TP) June 23: Dozens of students and youth of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) residing in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad held a protest demonstration outside the National Press Club (NPC) on Saturday to condemn the murder of blogger and social media activist Muhammad Bilal Khan.
The 23-year-old blogger, a resident of Chilas, was stabbed to death in Islamabad’s Sector G-9/4 on last Sunday night, while his cousin Ehteshamul Haq was injured by unidentified assailants.
A First Information Report (FIR) had been registered at the Karachi Company Police Station by the victim’s father, Abdullah, but no arrest has so far been made in this regard.
The protesting students chanted slogans against the government and the police for their failure to provide security to the citizens. The protesters demanded that killers are arrested at the earliest. They were also carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans condemning the murder.
Addressing the protesters, speakers said that the government had failed to provide security to the common man.
They demanded of the Islamabad police to arrest the killers and award them exemplary punishment. They questioned the efficacy of the much-touted Safe City Project as, according to them, murderers escape the crime scene with impunity under the watch of security cameras.
The protesters also demanded of the government to give compensation to the victim’s family.
“We demand to arrest the culprits at the earliest to dispense justice. The victim’s family should also be compensated,” Diamer Youth Organization leader Rehmat Jan said.
Addressing the protesters, National Students Federation activist Ali Ahmed Jan pointed out the rising in the killing of students from GB in different parts of the country. He urged the youth to show unity in their rank and file against various injustices.
“We may disagree with each other on various issues, be it religious, ideological or political, but killing on such disagreements cannot be condoned,” Jan said demanding of the government to take immediate action against the killers.
Pak Sarzameen Party provincial president Safdar Hussain demanded an end to the killings of youth under one pretext or the other. He demanded that a thorough and forensic investigation into the murder to trace the killers.
Khan, the International Islamic University student, had over 19,000 followers on Twitter, over 50,000 on YouTube, over 28,000 on Facebook, was known for his radical religious views.