CHITRAL: As many as 24 people from Karimabad, Lotkoh, who were jailed over a grazing dispute in their area were released from Chitral prison after the complainant withdrew the case against them.
Sources said the complainant against the 24 men, Shahzada Haiderul Mulk, withdrew his case and agreed to resolve the issue in consultation with the elders of the area. As a result, the 24 people were released.
It may be noted that the local community of Kiyar and Susum villages and the owner of the pasture, Shahzada Haiderul Mulk of Shoghor, had entered into an agreement about 12 years ago not to use the pasture for grazing. After the agreement, they said, the local people sold out their goats and sheep to ensure the implementation of the agreement in order to save the area from flooding as continuous grazing denuded the mountains causing floods.
However, the local people said a few days ago in the darkness of the night Shahzada Haiderul Mulk sent his Gujjar shepherds along with over 350 goats to the pasture violating the agreement. The local people handed over the goats to the police at the Shoghor police station.
The residents alleged that using his influence, Mr Mulk managed to book scores of people from the village through the police who were later sent to the district jail. They were booked under different sections of Pakistan penal Code on the complaint of Mr Mulk.
The complainant alleged that the residents of the area beat his shepherds and animals besides trying to attack his house in Shoghore. They were also accused of trying to occupy the pasture owned by Mr Mulk.