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Yarkhun valley people protest daylight robbery by food dept

BREP, Jan 21: Though people of Upper Chitral have for long started a movement against rampant corruption in government departments, the food department of Chitral has broken all record of irregularities and robbery on the citizens’ rights in the valley of Yarkhun.

If even half of the allegations levelled against the food department Chitral by the local people at a public gathering here on Tuesday are to be believed, the authorities of the department along with the contractors deserved to be flogged in the public for their complete disregard to the law and corruption. People from Brep to the Kankhon village in Upper Yarkhun in a large number participated in the public gathering in Brep on Tuesday.

The speakers at the public gathering said for the last many months wheat supply to the sale points in the valley had been stopped and the old dirt grain in the godowns were being sold to the consumers. They said due to the non-supply of the wheat, there was a starvation-like situation in the backward area.

They said the contractor had stopped supply to the sale points and the food department clerk in connivance with the officials of the department was selling wheat on the roads in selected village after bringing it to the area in jeeps with the interval of a few weeks. But the sale of the commodity was also illegal as the wheat was handed to the buyers in bags without weighing. When asked to weigh it, the clerk had a different logic. He is telling the buyers that he had only one weighing machine for the whole valley of Yarkhun and that machine was in Kankhon village so it was not possible for him to take it to every village.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Farman Nizar Lal of Brep (chief guest), former naib nazim Sardar Ali Khan, (chair), Mir Rahim, Muhammad Ashraf, Afsar khan Istach, Rakeen Khan of Dizg, Muhammad Hazar, Brep, Zar Bahadur of Wasam and Sharif Khan of Deh in Brep. They said that they had voted the APML candidates in the 2013 elections and during the first visit to the valley the residents had apprised MNA Shahzada Iftikharuddin about the issues.

However, since then the MNA has never even bothered to contact the people. They said that the MPA remained suspended and before that he had been fighting his case and unable to come to the area. The speakers added that the case should be decided on either way so that the future MPA can resolve their issues.

The people on the occasion also complained that former district nazim Shahzada Mohoiuddin had sanctioned the installation of a booster for VPTCL phones in Brep but after the end of his tenure as the district nazim the booster could not be installed. They said that in this era of communication the people of the Yarkhun valley remained deprived of the facility of telephone.

The speakers also said that they had formed a Muttahida Mahaz in the 1980s o fight for their rights but later it became non-functional. The speakers said that now they were going to revive the organization to launch a fully-fledged movement for the achievement of their genuine rights. They said that if the government failed to resolve their issues including the supply of wheat to the sale point by January 27, the area people would start a movement for the resolution of their issues.

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