BANNU: All the 92 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan Agency, detained on Thursday following their clash with police, were released from central jail, Bannu, on Saturday after a local court accepted their bail petitions on furnishing two sureties of Rs50,000 each.
Officials said that magistrate-I Farmanullah ordered the release of 92 IDPs. A jail official said that IDPs had been released after furnishing sureties. According to a handout issued in Peshawar, Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani has directed the police to withdraw cases against the IDPs and cooperate with them in furnishing sureties.
It said that according the preliminary inquiry into the incident the dispute arose between the IDPs and management of one of the distribution points in Bannu when the management gave preference to the handicapped individuals over others during distribution of relief goods. As the situation deteriorated, the management suspended the goods distribution and closed the gates of stadium.
IGP orders withdrawal of cases against them
PML-N MNA Marvi Memon also staged a sit-in in front of the Bannu central jail on Saturday, demanding release of the detained IDPs. The IDPs and workers of Shabab-i-Milli also joined the sit-in protest.
On this occasion, she criticised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and police for using force against IDPs. She said that instead of providing facilities to the displaced tribal people the provincial government put them in jail. After release of the IDPs, the PML-N leader ended her protest.
Meanwhile, the provincial government has directed the commissioner, Bannu, to conduct an inquiry into the incident that occurred at the food distribution point on Thursday and submit a report to the home and tribal affairs department within three days.
A statement issued in Peshawar on Saturday said that the district administration, Bannu, had been asked to streamline distribution of relief items at the humanitarian hub set up by the WHO in the city’s sports complex.
Nine policemen and eight IDPs had received injuries in a clash on Thursday at the distribution point over slow distribution of relief goods. The protesters had also torched a shed in the complex.
Meanwhile, a jirga of IDPs, led by Abdul Khalil Wazir, on Saturday held a meeting with political agent of North Waziristan Atif Rehman and Brig Mukhtiar and discussed with them issues related to the affected people.
The jirga members said that IDPs were being victimised and traffic police and officials of the excise department had impounded 550 non-custom paid vehicles of the displaced people. The elders said that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had ordered police to allow IDPs to run their NCP vehicles in settled areas till their stay in the province. They also demanded early return to their homes.
Published in Dawn, November 16th , 2014