Negotiations between protesting heirs of five Bhand community members and Zardari clansmen accused of the killings made some headway on Monday when the latter agreed to hand up 154 acres of the disputed 390-acre piece of property in the riverine area of Qazi Ahmed Taluka of Shaheed Benazirabad district to the Bhands.
Deputy Commissioner Amir Panhwar and SSP Amir Saud Magsi, as well as former provincial law minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and MPA Ghulam Qadir Chandio, have been mediating between the two sides. In the negotiations, Khamiso Bhand is heading his side.
The Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, and the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Sindh Affairs, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, arrived at the sit-in site last night, while Sindh Taraqqi-Passand Party (STP) Chairman Dr. Qadir Magsi and Qaumi Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo visited the protesters and expressed solidarity with the Bhands.
Because of the sit-in, the Qazi Ahmed stretch of the National Highway (N-5) was shut for a third day until the five dead were finally buried late Monday evening.
The Indus Highway was used as a detour for all vehicular traffic.
Negotiations to get an FIR against MPA Haji Ali Hassan Zardari, Mohsin Zardari, and Abid Zardari, as well as the arrest of all those guilty for the Saturday (Feb. 12) killings, continued in the evening. The Zardari clan’s armed members retreated from the disputed area as soon as the protest sit-in, which had been going on since Saturday evening, had not yet concluded.
‘The withdrawal was verified by Khamiso Khan Bhand.’ 154 acres of the 390 acres of land owned by the Zardaris have been transferred to the Bhands, according to SUP leader Roshan Buriro.
Ali Hasan Zardari’s name was dropped from the draught FIR, according to those who were involved in discussions, but the Bhands refused to back down unless Mohsin Zardari and Abid Zardari were arrested as a condition for the demonstration to be called off.
Bhands family members were cited as claiming that the death of MPA Ali Hassan Zardari brother, prevented the MPA from being on-site.
Bhands asserted that the paperwork of the land was falsified by the Zardaris. Khamiso Bhand claimed the ownership of the 390-acre property.
A few hours after Hameed Khoso and five Bhands were killed, police freed two villagers, Mahmood Mahar and Ghulam Hyder, who had been detained together with 16 other suspects.
Police from Shaheed Benazirabed district said that land in dispute is “extremely precious, with a market worth of roughly Rs1.2m per acre.”
Several cities and towns in Sindh launched protests on Monday in response to a demand from the Sindh Action Committee of the SUP to condemn the killings on February 12.
Protests in Shaheed Benazirabad, Hyderabad, Dadu, Larkana, Mirpurkhas, and a number of other areas were observed by activists from a wide range of political and nationalist organisations.