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Hangu tense as mob destroys houses

June 08, 2013

KOHAT, June 7: Tensions prevailed in the restive Hangu town on Friday after a mob destroyed two houses of the members of a group suspected to be involved in the recent killing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Farid Khan.

Shortly after the killing of the MPA, too, the protesters destroyed many houses.

Local officials said armed supporters of the slain lawmaker attacked house of Sher Bahadar on Bypass Road and that of Meen Asghar in Kandao Kali area.

They said the two were affiliated with the Mullah Nabi Hanfi group.

The officials said the attack destroyed the houses but caused no damage to human life as families had already left the premises.

The officials said Mullah Nabi Hanfi had close association with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, while the assassinated MPA, who had joined PTI after winning elections as an independent candidate, was linked to a banned outfit in the area.

They said police had already arrested Qari Hamid in connection with the killing of Farid Khan.

Also in the day, the district administration lifted curfew in Hangu after five days.

It, however, decided to retain deployment of security forces and police for the people’s safety in the city.

The military and paramilitary troops patrolled the streets all through the day.

District police officer Sajjad Khan told reporters that security forces had conducted a search operation in different localities and villages but made no arrest.

He said the forced destroyed a house of a suspect in Bagato area on the outskirts of Hangu town.

Later, Speaker of the provincial assembly Asad Qaisar and senior provincial minister Sirajul Haq visited the house of the slain MPA and offered fateha for the departed soul.

They condemned the killing and declared it an act of terrorism.

Meanwhile, JUI-F on Friday demanded immediate halt to targeted action against their party’s activists and sympathisers and conduct judicial inquiry into the killing of MPA Farid Khan.

JUI-F provincial chief Amanullah Haqqani and MPA from Hangu Mufti Syed Janan told a joint press conference in Peshawar that their supporters would agitate if the victimisation of the JUI-F workers in Hangu continued.

They said the JUI-F activists had the right to take extreme steps to protect themselves against victimisation and in that case, the provincial government would be responsible for the consequences.

Mr Haqqani said his party’s supporters had been targeted and their properties destroyed since the killing of the PTI MPA.

He said his party condemned the killing.

“Despite arrest of the alleged killer, our party offices and the workers’ properties are being destroyed in Hangu,” he said.

The JUI-F provincial chief said Attiqur Rehman, who contested elections on the JUI-F ticket against the slain MPA, had been nominated in the FIR.

He alleged that some people affiliated with an extremist group were pressuring Attiqur Rehman not to contest by-election from Hangu.

Mr Haqqani said the district administration should ensure the safety of the local people and demanded judicial inquiry into the MPA’s killing.