IDPs allege intimidation by police, customs officials

Published September 19, 2014
Displaced people from North Waziristan hold a demonstration in Bannu on Thursday to demand permission to return to their hometown. — Online
Displaced people from North Waziristan hold a demonstration in Bannu on Thursday to demand permission to return to their hometown. — Online

PESHAWAR: The internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan Agency on Thursday alleged that police and customs officials had been impounding their vehicles on refusal to pay bribes at different checkpoints.

“Police in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have impounded our 21 vehicles in the name of checking,” tribal elder Malik Zafarullah Wazir said while speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club on Thursday.

Flanked by other elders, including Niamatullah Wazir and Malik Musa Khan, he claimed that the security forces had already provided them the no objection certificate for use of non-custom paid (NCP) vehicles till their stay in the camps, but the police and customs officials were teasing them for obvious reason to pay them money.

Giving details, the tribal elder said that three vehicles of IDPs were taken into custody by Chamkani police station, two vehicles by Mattani police, five by Gurgorai police, six by Shergarh police and five by Takhtbhai police, which had caused serious problems for the owners.


Say their vehicles being impounded on refusal to give bribe


Besides, Mr Zafarullah pointed out that some families travelling in 15 vehicles were stopped by a customs inspector, identified as Saeed, who did not allow them and the women and children were forced to move on foot.

“We have got a written permission from the security forces so that our people can move from one place to other, but despite that the police and customs officials are not allowing us,” the IDPs’ representative complained.

He alleged that the officials had also taken out valuable items, including tap recorders, from their vehicles.

He said that in several police stations the officials had been avoiding talking to them at least to resolve the matter.

Mr Zafarullah claimed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had also announced that there would be no restriction on the movement of NCP vehicles in the province, but despite that the police had made their lives miserable.

“We appeal to Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and the security forces to take notice of the injustices on part of the police and customs officials and help return the vehicles to us,” he said.

The tribal elder said that now IDPs had the only option to hold protest and raise voice against the injustices of police and customs officials.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2014

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