MINGORA: A man opened fire when polio workers came to his house in Qambar town of Swat valley on Monday to vaccinate his child. However, the polio workers remained unhurt.

The four-day anti-polio drive under the Sehat Ka Ittehad programme kicked off on Monday across the province.

Swat deputy commissioner Mahmood Aslam Wazir confirmed the firing incident, saying the suspect identified as Bacha Zada of Qambar village refused to get his child vaccinated and opened fire on polio workers. However, the polio workers were safe and that the man had been arrested and was under interrogation. He said the polio workers were performing their duties under strict security cover.

Mr Wazir said that the elements refusing to administer polio drops to their children would be arrested and dealt with sternly. He said the district administration would not spare any effort to make the ongoing anti-polio drive a success.

Meanwhile, police said that the suspect after exchange of hot words with the polio workers opened fire in the air to force them to flee the area.

On the other hand, sources said that the deputy commissioner had been informed that so far ten people in the district had refused to administer polio vaccine to their children.

Talking to mediapersons, Dr Rahamt Elahi, in-charge of vaccination drive, said that over 0.4 million children under five years of age in 65 union councils of the district would be vaccinated during the drive. He said that 1,229 teams, including 43 transit and 90 fixed, had been tasked with reaching every nook and corner of the district to vaccinate the targeted children at homes, bus stands and checkposts.

Meanwhile, several alleged outlaws, including Afghans, have been arrested in the ongoing search operation in Malakand division.

According to a statement issued form the DIG office, 124 suspected persons, including six illegally staying Afghan nationals, were arrested during search operation in several districts of Malakand division during the past week.

The police claimed that a big cache of explosives, weapons and drugs were also recovered from them.

Published in Dawn February 17th , 2015

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