The movement for the freedom of Balochistan has gained momentum in India, with “Indian Balochis” protesting at Shantipath near the Pakistan embassy here on Thursday. A group of 40-50 Indians, who consider themselves “Indian Balochis”, marched on Shantipath to help their “brothers” struggling in Balochistan.
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Abdullah Khan, a tailor who participated in Thursday’s march, said, “We are helping Balochistan because we have a connection with them. Our ancestors belonged to Balochistan. Some of our ancestors came here with the Mughal armies and never went back. We have been told over generations that we are ‘Baloch Pathans’.” Abdullah belongs to a small village in Tilpani, Baghpat, called “Balochpura” which is home to 2,000-3,000 families. The population of the village largely comprises “Baloch Pathans” or other people whose ancestors travelled together to India from Balochistan. Around 20% of the village population is non-Muslim. The present generation living in “Balochpura” is “totally Indian”. Mohammad Usman Baloch, a “Balochpura” resident, said: “As kids, we have heard stories about the 1897 war with the British armies, for which Allahdiya Baloch, one of our ancestors, was gifted this village and its land where we now live. He had travelled to our village and settled here. We all are his clan’s descendants.” Dr Feroze Khan, another “Balochpura” resident, said, “We don’t have much left of our ancestors’ culture. We live like an average Indian Muslim does.” Mohammad Osama, a farmer in “Balochpura” waving Balochistan’s flag behind Mazdaak Dilshaad Baloch, a Balochistan freedom activist, said: “Construction of a gate has started in our village to symbolise the common ancestry of the village people and Baloch activists.”