Police Wednesday arrested Balochistan Minister for Construction and Communications Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran for his alleged role in the Barkhan murders — where three people’s bullet-riddled bodies were found in a well.
As the protest in Quetta continued for the second successive day, police said: “Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran is accused of murdering three people and that is why he has been taken into custody.”
The protesters — who have staged a sit-in along with the three bodies at the Fayyaz Sumbal Chowk — have demanded a case be registered against Khetran, his ministry taken away, and the five people in captivity be recovered.
Muhammad Marri, the man whose three family members were murdered, has accused Khetran of keeping his five other family members in a “private jail”.
Late Tuesday night, the police had also raided the minister’s residence to recover Marri’s five children and sealed roads leading to Khetran’s house in Quetta’s Patel Bagh.
A spokesperson for the police said that a special investigation team was interrogating the minister and raids were being conducted to recover the “kidnapped” people.
“More arrests are expected in the murder of a mother and her two sons. A few days back, the woman had issued a video message claiming that she was in Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran’s prison,” the spokesperson said.
“Days after the woman’s video message came to the fore, she and her sons were found dead in a well in a well in Barkhan,” the spokesperson said.
When the pressure grew on the police, they registered a case against unknown persons under Sections 34 (doing any act with intention of causing harm to any person), 202 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), and 302 (qatl-i-amd) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
After coming under severe criticism, Khetran denied allegations of involvement in the murders and claimed to be a “peaceful and law-abiding person”.
“Accusations of owning a private prison and the murder of three people is a conspiracy to damage my political reputation,” he said, adding that his house was searched by the previous government.
“Had there been a jail, it would have been discovered,” he insisted, “However, if anyone is still in doubt, they can check my house.”
He further said that the allegations were a “sinister attempt” to deprive him of the “right of regional politics”.