ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed on Wednesday that the assistant commissioner and in-charge of the Levies police station of the area, where the six labourers were killed by terrorists, had been suspended while the deputy commissioner had also been transferred.

Balochistan Chief Secretary in pursuance of the top court’s order submitted the report stating: “the incident could have been avoided had the district administration been more vigilant and fully alive to its responsibilities. Taking cognizance of laxity on the part of the district administration, the provincial government immediately transferred the concerned deputy commissioner and directed him to report to the Service & General Administration Department.”

On May 5, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the killing of six labourers in District Kharan, Balochistan and issued notices to Chief Secretary Balochistan and other officials concerned.

Those labourers who were killed include Fakhar Rafique, Javed, Amanat Ali, Mazhar, Waqas and Shahzad while the injured is identified as Faryal Hussain.

The responsibility of target killing of labourers has been accepted by two banned outfits – the United Baloch Army (UBA) and Baloch Republican Army (BRA) - on the social media, the report added.

The report further stated that before execution of any development work particularly in areas where insurgents have their presence, NOC/ security clearance is obtained from the concerned District Administration or Law enforcement agencies.

“In the instant matter, contractors who had brought labourers for installation of Ufone tower did not apply for any NOC nor did they inform the District Administration/ LEAs about such installation. The contractors violated the practice in vogue resulting in precious human lives being lost,” the provincial government contended.

The concerned Assistant Commissioner and in-charge of the Levies police station have been placed under suspension. A fact-finding inquiry has been constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary of Home Department to probe this incident and submit its report within a week.

The report also pointed out that in 2015 Chairman District Council Kharan Sahghir Badini was reportedly abducted by the BLA and detained for 2-3 days before being released.

Likewise, Pak Telecom Mobile Limited (PTML), known as Ufone, has informed the top court that responsibility of protection of labourers was upon the subcontractor but the company decided to compensate the families of deceased labourers.

“Contractually and legally the responsibility for the safety and security of the said persons vested with the Subcontractor M/s Iqbal Enterprises and their principal Huawei Pakistan and the local law enforcing agencies,” PTML submitted before the top court in its report.

As per information received from the Huawei Pakistan and their subcontractor, the report continued to contend, the standard Operating Procedure is that the local security agencies principally the FC Force is informed and in case of the relevant site the closest FC check post approximately 5km from the site had been duly informed of the workers working at the site and the said workers had in fact travelled through over five different check posts to reach the designated site for carrying out the works and at each FC check post had been questioned as to their destination and work to be undertaken.

“The said subcontractor, M/s Iqbal Enterprises, correspondingly under the said Subcontract Agreement (for installation of towers) executed with Huawei Pakistan assumed the exclusive responsibility for the safety of all works carried out at the designated sites including safety of its personnel and further undertook the responsibility for obtaining any and all permissions as may be required pursuant to any law, order, regulation or directive of the government.”

The said Subcontractor was further mandated by its principal contractor to obtain and maintain corresponding insurance, including injury and death insurance, the report of the company stated.

It further stated the head of the PTML on humanitarian ground had announced compensation of Rs1 million to each of the families of the deceased. “This being in addition to the compensation of Rs1 million each announced by the government of Baluchistan and Punjab respectively as well as compensate of Rs0.5 million announced by Huawei Pakistan.”

It further stated that the company had further worked for a long terms compensation package to provide for a full education scholarship for the minor children of the late Amanat Ali and Mazhar Fareed to enable the children to complete their schooling as well as university education.

“In addition the package includes a monthly stipend of Rs. 20,000 per month for the next three years for the families of all the 6 deceased who were dependent on the income of deceased persons so that they do not feel the absence of such monetary income,” it added.

It further stated that siblings of the deceased who are not employed will be offered employment and a special monthly stipend would be provided for the widows of the late Amanat Ali and Mazhar Fareed beyond the first 3 years as they do not have any other direct members of the family who can provide long term income.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the case for hearing and directed the cellular company to submit a complete financial plan for compensation to the families.

During the course of the hearing, the company’s lawyer informed the bench that the injured had been shifted to a hospital in Lahore for treatment. The top court will take up the matter for hearing today.