A Quickie: Collective Punishment In Gurguri

This little new item caught my attention:

Over 200 held for attacking Gurguri oil and gas field

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
By our correspondent

KARAK: More than 200 people were arrested here on Monday for attacking the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) installations in Gurguri a couple of days ago.

Sources said the FC personnel cordoned off the area and directed the residents to stay indoors and hand over the wanted persons who attacked the oil and gas installation, allegedly stabbed three personnel of the FC and snatched their guns.

The arrested persons included the president of the Islahi Tanzim, Nasrullah Jan, and an accused, identified as Ghulam Amin, who had allegedly injured the paramilitary force personnel.

An FIR against the latter had already been registered in the area police station, the sources said. However, the FC arrested all those who had stormed the oil and gas field and resorted to vandalism during the search operation in Gurguri.

First thing I thought was if so many people were involved in an “attack”, it must have been quite an attack; so why hadn’t I heard about it? Certainly it must have been front-page news so how could I miss it?

I went searching and finally found one — ONLY ONE — brief mention of the “attack” in ONE newspaper:

3 FC men hurt in scuffle with local man

Sunday, April 18, 2010
By Our correspondent
KARAK: A man attacked a camp of the foreign oil and gas exploring company MOL, injuring three security personnel, sources said Saturday.

The sources said that one of the members of the Gurguri Islahi Tanzeem and former councilor Ghulam Ameen visited the Gurguri gas camp on Saturday and complained to the community relations officer of the MOL that his land had been badly affected by the storage water of the camp. The sources said the CRO assured him that his loss would be compensated.

Despite assurance by the CRO, the sources said, the man tried to meet the site in-charge of the MOL but the security in-charge refused to give him permission for the meeting.

During scuffle with the security personnel, Ghulam Ameen took out the knife and allegedly stabbed three security personnel of Frontier Constabulary. The local person was arrested by the police on the spot and was locked up in the Gurguri Police Station.

Later on, other members of the Tanzeem and the officials held negotiations with the elders of the Gurguri Islahi Tanzeem. The negotiations were in progress till filing of this report.

That’s it? Note this is the “official version” and that too admits the local had a valid complaint. What transpired afterwords is anyone’s guess. That he ended up stabbing three FC men certainly was criminal and he was arrested. That should have been the end of this story. But what gives the government the right to arrest “more than 200 people” for that crime, people who by the FC’s own version had nothing to do with the “attack” (and that too now being described as “attacking the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) installations in Gurguri” — do note the plural : “installations”). Also, this passage is interesting:

FC personnel cordoned off the area and directed the residents to stay indoors and hand over the wanted persons who attacked the oil and gas installation, allegedly stabbed three personnel of the FC and snatched their guns.

Why did FC “cordon off the area and demand ‘hand over the wanted persons who attacked the oil and gas installation’ when there was only one person attacking and he was already under arrest? And if the following part is true:

the FC arrested all those who had stormed the oil and gas field and resorted to vandalism during the search operation in Gurguri.

Did another follow-up incident take place (“during search operation”)? If it is, then the responsibility squarely lies on the shoulders of FC for it shows that despite having the cculprit in custody, they went out to incite by threatening/intimidating the local population, confined them to their houses illegally (was it for a few hours?one day? two days?), and violated the sanctity of their homes by carrying out an illegal and unnecessary search operation.

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2 Responses to “A Quickie: Collective Punishment In Gurguri”


  1. 1 Observer April 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Isn’t this the story all over Pakistan. They (FC personel) transgressed even further in this case. Normally they (police etc.) only catch close family members to catch the “real culprit” – if at all he/she is a culprit.

    • 2 nota April 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      @Observer
      “Isn’t this the story all over Pakistan. They (FC personel) transgressed even further in this case.”

      Yes. And No. This is exactly how they always behave. Think Sui/Balochistan….


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