Victims of Quetta bomb blasts laid to rest, finally
By: Saleem Shahid
QUETTA: After the acceptance of their demand for imposition of governor’s rule in Balochistan, the Hazara Shia community ended their four-day protest on Monday and buried amid tears and sobs the bodies of their 86 loved ones killed in the twin bomb blasts.
Hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children, attended funerals of the victims. They were laid to rest in the Marriabad graveyard, called Baheshat-i-Zainab.
The Hazaras began a sit-in on the Alamdar Road, along with the coffins of 86 bodies, on Friday afternoon and refused to bury them till the removal of the provincial government, imposition of governor’s rule and handing over of Quetta to the army.
Despite a severe and biting cold, they did not leave the place till Monday morning.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf had visited the sit-in site late on Sunday night and announced in front of a gathering of representatives of Hazara Shia community the dismissal of the provincial government and imposition of governor’s rule in Balochistan.
Leaders of the community had said they would end the protest and bury the dead only after the issuance of a notification in this respect. After getting a copy of the notification about imposition of governor’s rule on Monday, the Hazaras ended the sit-in and started preparation for burial.
The burial started after 2pm and continued till evening. People remained in the graveyard till the burial of all bodies. Pictures of the people who had lost their lives in bomb blasts, suicide attacks and target killings over the past five years were displayed on electricity polls and walls along roads leading to the graveyard.
Emotional scenes were witnesses as people burst into tears while remembering their loved ones killed in the Alamdar Road blasts. Relatives of the victims started weeping and beating their chests when the bodies were brought to the graveyard.
Tight security arrangements were made and personnel of the Frontier Corps, police and Balochistan Constabulary were deployed in and around the graveyard. Walkthrough gates were installed at the entrance of the area and people were allowed to enter the graveyard only after going through body search.