Birir residents seek protection against land mafia

CHITRAL, Feb 24: While the Taliban threat to the Kalash tribe has made headlines around the world, some residents of the Bumburate valley seemed more threatened by the land mafia of their area. kalash copyThe residents of the Birir valley held a protest at the road leading to the deputy commissioner office in Chitral demanding the district administration and the provincial government should provide them protection against the land mafia. The protesters, including women, said they had their land inherited form their forefathers at Khairabad.  “Our forefathers used the land as a pasture in the winter season and it is still being used by us.” Wazir Azam, Mir Bacha, Wali Jan, Khalid Umar, Noor Ahmad and others alleged that they were being harassed by Mumtaz and his relatives who wanted to occupy the land. They said Mumtaz of Khairabad had been trying for the last three years to snatch the land from the Kalash community. Last week, they alleged, Mumtaz along with some other persons of Damil attacked their homes and injured a woman. They said Mumtaz was an influential person who had hired some outsiders involved in different criminal cases and wanted to occupy the land. They also alleged that Mumtaz attacked their houses by threatening a woman. The woman fell unconscious and was taken to a doctor’s clinic for treatment. But police have not lodged any terrorism case against the accused.  They demanded that the district police officer should include the terrorism act in FIR against Mumtaz and his colleagues. In this connection, when this scribe contacted District Police Officer Ghulam Hussain, he denied any terrorism attack or involvement of any terrorist in this case. He said the Drosh police already had lodged the FIR against Mumtaz and his accomplices and arrested seven persons. According to our legal system, no terrorism case can be registered in such cases, he added.—GH Farooqui For more, read here   ]]>

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