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Protesting transporters close Chitral-Gilgit road

GAHKUCH (GHIZER), Oct 18: The transporters here closed traffic on the Chitral-Ghizer road in protest against what they said the highhandedness of the excise and taxation department of Gilgit-Baltistan. The transporters said that the department was harassing the transporters in on different pretexts like checking papers of non-customs-paid vehicles and it had become impossible for them to ply their vehicles. As the transporters kept their vehicles off the road, a large number of passengers were reported stranded on both sides of the region – at Mastuj and Gilgit and Gahkuch. On Wednesday, the transporters and drivers staged a sit-in on the main road and chanted slogans against the excise department. They warned that if the department did not mend its behavior, it would be responsible for any untoward incident. Addressing the gathering of the protesting transporters, local politicians including Bakhtawar Shah, Abdur Rahim and Sadat Ali said the excide and taxation department officials were taking undue advantage of the innocence and simplicity of the residents of Ghizer and were harassing them by installing checkposts on different portions of the road. They alleged that the officials were demanding bribe from the drivers. They said that NCP vehicles were also plying in other districts of the region but nowhere drivers were dealt with such contempt. Later the assistant commissioner of Ishkoman along with a heavy contingent of police reached the spot and assured the transporters and drivers that he would convey their concerns to the authorities concerned. At this, the protesters dispersed.]]>

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