Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Residents of Kalash Valley demand protection from “land mafia”

A group of Kalashi women and men talking to the media

A group of Kalashi women and men talking to the media
A group of Kalashi women and men talking to the media

Gul Hammad Farooqi

Chitral, February 24: Residents of Birir village of Kalash valley have requested the district administration and provincial government for protection of their land from what they called a “Land Mafia”.

They were demonstrating on Deputy Commissioner road in Chitral. Elders from Kalsh community comprising of men and women said that they have centuries old ancestral land in Khairabad area. They said that a local person named Mumtaz has been trying for the last three years to occupy this land and snatch it from members of the Kalash community.

Elders of the Kalash community, including Wazir Azam, Mir Bacha, Wali Jan, Khalid Umar, Noor Ahmad, among others, said that they were being harassed by Mumtaz and his relatives.

They said that last week Mumtaz along with some people of Damil attacked their house and injured a woman. They said that Mumtaz is an influential person who has hired some outsiders who are allegedly involve in different criminal cases and want to snatch the land. They also alleged that Mumtaz attacked their houses by threatening a lady of killing them. The woman, reportedly, fainted and was taken to a hospital for clinical treatment. They accused the police of not registering case against the alleged invaders under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). 

On contact, District Police Officer Ghulam Hussain denied that an offence under the ATA laws had been committed. He said that Drosh police has already lodged an FIR against Mumtaz and his accomplices and has arrested 7 persons who are still in lock up on judicial remand.

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