NOWSHERA: In two incidents on Thursday, polio workers were held hostage and manhandled by locals who disrupted the ongoing polio eradication campaign in Nowshera district.

In Rashakai, the police arrested three people for allegedly disrupting the vaccination process by harassing female staffers of the polio teams and abusing the police staff assisting them.

According to reports, the polio eradication teams in Nowshera have boycotted the ongoing vaccination campaign in protest against harassment of female staffers in the area.

The police raided the house where the staffers were taken hostage and arrested the suspects as well as a few female culprits who had assisted them and started interrogation.

According to SHO Zardad Khan, in-charge of Kheshgi rural health centre Dr Salman Gohar had informed the Risaplur police station that their female staff had been taken hostage by Yousaf Khan, son of Muhammad Islam, in Rashakai.

Separately, Nowshera police arrested two persons who chased and teased a polio vaccination team at Kalenger Village of Risalpur.

The youngsters were on a motorcycle and hurled abuses on the police staff performing duties with the team.

Police said that lady health worker Pashmena of BHU was on duty at Kalanjer where three youngsters — identified as Inayat Ali Shah, Syed Wali Shah and Amir Gul — started chasing her.

Police constable Amanullah, who was assisting her, said that the boys took out pistols and pointed them on him and also hurled abuses when he tried to stop them. He alleged that they were forcing the team to stop vaccination.

The police then raided their houses and arrested Inayat Ali and Wali Shah while search for Amir Gul was under way.

The Risalpur police registered FIRs of both cases and started investigation.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018