Balochistan minister charged with murders in Barkhan is taken into custody
Balochistan’s Minister for Construction and Communications, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of being involved in the brutal murders of three people, whose bodies were found in a well in the Barkhan district, riddled with bullets.
“Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran is accused of killing three people, so he was taken into custody,” police said as protesters in Quetta sat down for the second day in a row to demand justice.
The protesters have set up a sit-in with the three bodies at the Fayyaz Sumbal Chowk. They want Khetran to be charged, his ministry to be taken away, and the five people who are being held captive to be freed.
Muhammad Marri, whose three relatives were killed, says that Khetran is keeping his other five relatives in a “private jail.”
Late Tuesday night, the police also went to the minister’s house to get Marri’s five kids back. They also blocked the roads that led to Khetran’s house in Patel Bagh, Quetta.
A police spokesman said that a special investigation team was questioning the minister and that raids were being done to find the people who had been “kidnapped.”
“A mother and her two sons were killed, and more arrests are likely. The woman sent out a video message a few days ago saying that she was in Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran’s prison “the person speaking up said.
“She and her sons were found dead in a well in Barkhan days after her video message went viral,” a spokesperson said.
As the pressure on the police grew, they filed a case against unknown people under the Pakistan Penal Code’s Sections 34 (doing any act with the intent to hurt someone), 202 (causing evidence of an offence to disappear or giving false information to screen an offender), and 302 (qatl-i-amd).
After getting a lot of bad press, Khetran denied that he had anything to do with the murders and said he was a “peaceful and law-abiding person.”
He said that the accusations that he owned a private prison and killed three people were part of a plan to hurt his political reputation. He also said that the previous government had searched his house.
“If there had been a jail, it would have been found,” he insisted. “But if anyone is still not sure, they can come look at my house.”
He also said that the accusations were a “dark attempt” to take away his “right to be involved in regional politics.”