The past few months have felt nothing more than changing hashtags. First, the hashtag was Bramsh, an innocent child who had been injured and her mother murdered before her eyes. Then we were introduced to #JusticeForKulsoom, seeking punishment for killers of a woman whose throat had been slit at her home and that too in front of her kids. Once again, an innocent soul lost. This chain of violence continued and one morning, last week, I woke up to a new one: #TurbatBlast. After seeing that, my first reaction was, “again?”.
Because, a few days back, a similar explosion in Turbat had taken away the livelihood of many families, leaving a void in their lives. With that in mind, I had no courage to scroll down my social media timelines or read more about the blast. It felt like my city was burning and I was only a helpless bystander. I turned off my phone and stared at the ceiling of my room for a while. Later, I gathered my courage and wanted to discover more about the accident.
I could see a young man’s pictures doing the rounds. My heart sank. I came to know the man was 25-year-old Hayat Baloch, a final year student of Physiology at Karachi University, who was shot dead after the blast incident. That day, August 13, Hayat had been working on a date farm along with his parents when at about 11 AM a passing Frontier Corps (FC) convoy was targeted with an Improvised Explosive Device nearby.
Moments after the blast, FC personnel entered the farm and accused Hayat of being involved in the attack. Within minutes, they dragged this innocent man outside the farm and shot him eight times in front of his parents. They left him in a pool of blood. He took his last breaths in his parent’s arms, who cried for help and begged for their son’s life.
SSP Turbat stated on the same day that the culprit has been handed over to them, and added that the FC’s internal inquiry had found out that the killer had “acted in haste”.
After the incident, Hayat’s mother gave a statement saying she had sent Hayat to school and language centers for a better future for them but he was killed right in front of her eyes. She added that the FC soldiers did not even let her son explain himself.
This tragic incident has not only stolen the future of a family but it also feels like every other person is in extreme pain that is accompanied by the fear they could be the next.
This extrajudicial killing of the innocent young student has created a wave of sadness among the Baloch, with every soul in mourning. A deep sense of helplessness has engulfed Turbat. It feels like Hayat took the ‘Hayat’ (Life) of the city along with him.
Turbat does not feel like home anymore.