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Condemning the brutes; Thousands protest before Presidential Palace, seek justice for beheaded passengers

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Thousands of angry protestors carrying coffins of seven beheaded Hazara passengers in front of the Presidential Palace sought justice for the victims.

The protestors marched from Pul-e-Sukhta area to the Presidential Palace, around eight kilometers.

Chanting slogans “death to the Taliban and Daesh”, “the leaders shall resign” and “we want justice”, the protestors said the government had committed negligence in its duty which resulted into beheading of the seven ethnic Hazaras, kidnapped nine months ago.

Mohammad Dawod Sultani, a protestor, said that they have rallied outside the palace against failure of the government to secure safe release of the passengers.

He said that they would continue the protest till the government accepts to be accountable for the incident and provide tight security to people living in insecure parts and facing serious security threats.

Fatana Gelani, a women’s rights activist and one of the protestors, said that security organizations are guilty.

She said that honest and patriot people must be hired at the key positions in the security organs.

She asked the high-ranking officials to take steps and restore peace and stability. “If they cannot improve security and establish writ of the government then they must resign,” she said while giving vent to anger.

Fatima Shekoh, another protestor, said that they are gathered here to seek justice for Afghans who were killed without any reason.

She said that the government must bring the killers to the court of justice. “If the government did not address our demands, we will approach international organizations and human rights groups,” she warned.

The protest continued till late evening. Police at the Presidential Palace fired warning shots to disperse the protestors.

The demonstrators also issued a resolution in which they condemned killing of seven innocent Hazara hostages by the insurgents and said the government should launch military operation to arrest the perpetrators and give them exemplary punishment.

They said that a special corps should be established in the national army for protection of civilians and security in Bamyan, Daykundi, Jaghori and Ghazni provinces. The protestors also asked the government to address the administrative challenges in Jaghori, Malistan, Qarabagh, Nawor, and Jaghato districts.

The protest was also attended by scores of legislators, civil society activists and women.

Condemning beheading of the seven passengers in Zabul province, members of the Wolesi Jirga on Wednesday said the government has utterly failed in protecting civilians. They said the president and the Chief Executive Officer should be summoned over the growing insecurity and killing of the passengers.

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