MASTUJ: Public circles here have demanded action against government officials and others for depriving deserving people of compensation for damages to their properties in the earthquake.
Sources in the area told ChitralToday that Ghulam Mustafa, a District Council member from Mastuj, along with Mohsin Hayat Shadab, a member of the teshil council, had turned out to be the major beneficiaries of the cash compensation.
They said both Mustafa and Mohsin not only managed to get cheques for themselves but also succeeded in including the names of their relatives, friends and political supporters in lists prepared for the cash compensation claiming their houses were damaged in the earthquake.
They said the patwaris started a new trend of embezzling the earthquake cheques by willfully including the names of prominent personalities of the area, such as Shahzada Sirajul Mulk, his younger brother Shahzada Sikandarul Mulk, Qazi Jamaluddin, etc. in a bid to oblige them and escape any action despite knowing their properties were not damaged.
Talking to ChitralToday on phone from Mastuj, Sikandarul Mulk said Teshildar Nooruddin and additional assistant commissioner Mohammad Saleh had nothing to say when he questioned them in front of Assistant Commissioner Mastuj Hamidullah Khan Khattak during the latter’s visit to Mastuj if his family ever approached them to include his name in the list.
“They’d nothing to say when I asked them in front of the AC why cheques were issued to me when none of us ever sought help from the government for the damages caused to the Mastuj fort. This was done willfully by the officials for reasons best known to them…I told the AC that I don’t need any cheque,” he added.
He said subdivision Mastuj, the worst affected area comprising three tehsils, had so far been issued about 4,000 cheques while in subdivision Chitral over 14,000 cheques had been distributed, a marked difference which, Sikandar said, was not acceptable. He said in lower Chitral, 80 per cent people, majority of whom not affected, were given cheques without any verification but Mastuj subdivision is being ignored by the district administration as it has failed to undertake a transparent survey.
He told AC Mastuj in an unequivocal term that any attempt to register FIR against the people without taking action against the officials involved in conducting fake surveys or giving undue favours to their dear and near ones will be resisted.
The AC Mastuj was told that he should first crackdown on the officials for misleading the administration by enlisting the names of people whose properties were not damaged. After registration of FIR against the AAC and the tesildar, the next turn should be of people involved in making false claim of damages during the earthquake.
He also threatened that any negligence by the district administration to treat subdivision Mastuj not at par with lower Chitral would have serious repercussions, as people will go to Gilgit-Baltistan which comes directly under administrative control of the federal government to seek help as the provincial government failed to ensure judicious distribution of the compensation.
The people of the area said residents of Muldeh, a small locality at Chuinj village, had been worst affected and their proprieties were completely damaged. But Ghulam Mustafa, to whom people voted in local government elections, did not even bother to help them and instead laughed off by getting cheques for himself and his relatives.
The people of the area also demanded strict action against Ghulam Mustafa, Mohsin Hhayat and the patwaris. They also demanded to initiate another survey in Rizun village of Laspur, where a patwari had reportedly declared his relatives as the victims.
The people of the area demanded that AC Mastuj Hamidullah Khan Khattak should make all the additional assistant commissioners (AACs) and the patwaris working directly under his supervision accountable as they were directly responsible for the mess.