CHITRAL: Beggars from other districts have started arriving in Chitral swarming streets, roads, shopping centres, bus stands, mosques and even government offices, seeking alms.
The local people observed that with the completion of Lowari tunnel, the number of beggars coming to the district in summer season had increased.
However, the arrival of beggars is being seen with apprehensions by the locals amid coronavirus threat.
Syed Nazir, a resident of Zargarandeh village, said beggars were polluting the clean environment of the city as they defaecated in the open fields where they encamped.
He said the multitude of beggars distributed to the different localities and tourist resorts, including Garam Chashma, Kalash valleys, Booni, Golen and Sheshi Koh with a majority of them staying in the Chitral town.
He said in the prevailing situation when the people were being restricted to their homes to contain the spread of coronavirus, the unchecked influx of the beggars into the district was worrying. He demanded that the authorities send the beggars back to their home towns.
Syed Nazir quoted a passenger coming from Islamabad on Wednesday morning as saying that two coaches carrying 32 passengers each (all beggars) had entered the district.
When contacted, district police officer Waseem Riaz Khan said the beggars would be sent back to their towns. He said alms seekers refusing to go back would be booked under Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Vagrancy Restraint Act, 2020.
He said the district police would devise a mechanism to identify the beggars at the entrance point at the Lowari tunnel and send them back in future.–Zahiruddin