Quetta [Pakistan], June 16 (ANI): Four employees of a Pakistani coal mine company who were abducted by armed men on Monday could not be traced even after four days, a local media reported citing the statement of a Pakistani police official.
The four employees including two engineers were kidnapped by the armed men at gunpoint when they were in the office of the company in the Spine-Karez area, close to the Sorrang coal field, the Dawn reported.
According to the media report, no group has claimed the kidnapping so far, however, a case of kidnapping was registered against the unknown kidnappers.
Meanwhile, the workers of the coal mines in Balochistan province work under hazardous and unsafe working conditions inside coal mines. Several cases of attacks on the workers have been reported in the past.
Last year, at least three coal miners were shot dead by unidentified armed men in Harnai district's Zalawan area in Pakistan's Balochistan province. It was reported that the assailants arrived at the coal mine and opened fire on the colliers, leaving three of them dead on the spot.
Earlier to that, in August, armed men had gunned down three coal miners in a coalfield some 70 kilometres from Quetta.
The Dawn report said that over 100 coal miners were killed in the previous year in Pakistan.
According to data provided by Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation last year, at least 176 miners were killed and 180 injured in mining accidents in the year 2021.
Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation said that Miners in Balochistan also face the risk of targeted attacks by non-state actors.
According to the HRCP, many labour union representatives also say they are deeply unhappy with the contractor system of operating coal mines because contractors have little stake in ensuring the safety and security of their workers and resort to cost-cutting measures.
It is also a matter of concern that, in many cases, contractors themselves function as the heads of labour unions, which is a potential conflict of interest. Moreover, the compensation for death and injury is lower in Balochistan (i.e. Pakistani Rs 300,000) compared to other provinces (Rs 500,000). (ANI)