Rangers picked up hundreds of men from Kunwari Colony in Mangophir, a lower income area of Karachi, on Tuesday, and shuttled them away like cattle. The picture below shows them cowering in the back of a lorry. Apparently, hundreds were picked up for three suspected militants.
Media and concerned people should persist in demanding.
The names and occupations of all arrested. Place where they will be detained. Magistrates they will see and how soon. Details of the evidence they were picked up on. Any decisions on bail, release, and charges filed. Assurances they will not be subjected to inhuman and degrading interrogation techniques. Names of courts where judicial proceedings will be conducted against those who are indicted.
Over 300 protested yesterday to demand their release. The rangers killed one man and injured another. There will probably be a further crackdown by the rangers against the residents of the colony. After a while people will either cave or up the ante.
And silently, mothers and wives, filled with grief and anger, will beg brothers and uncles to go investigate, beg, bribe, use references, waste already scarce resources -- before they finally give in to despair. Children will wonder why their fathers disappeared, and spiral into neglect. No legal center will help them locate their loved ones. No social security office will provide them with benefits as they struggle and make do on the little home based work provides. There will be no compensation for the dead man's family for his wrongful death due to state recklessness.
Soon, it will cease to be news. All this tragedy unleashed by the state in three full days.
All you need to say is that some of the suspects belonged to banned militant outfits, and even people who purportedly care about justice, human rights, and due process of the law will say -- this is a necessary price to pay to clean up the city and eliminate the threat of militants.
Is it necessary though? Is it proportionate? Is it even intelligent? Its certainly not just.
How have they succeeded in convincing us of our own fear so we may succumb to (and even desire) state terror? Routinely there are bombs. Gradually police and para military occupy the cities, and we acquiesce to their menace, and while they seem concerned about the safety of people in elite neighborhoods, they ruthlessly terrorize the poor.