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GILGIT: Hundreds of residents of Nasirabad area of Hunza district on Sunday demonstrated outside the Gilgit Press Club against issuance of a mineral lease to a private company in their area.

Earlier, about 500 people took out a protest rally from Nasirabad to the press club here, chanting slogans against the GB government and owners of a private mining company.

They said that economic murder of the poor people was not acceptable and that the local people had the foremost right over their natural resource.

The protesters said marble abundantly existed in Nasirabad, and the local people had obtained mining lease from mineral department in 1989. They said that the locals had regularly been paying the lease fee to the government.

However, they said in recent years a private company had claimed ownership of the mine lease because the owner of the firm was an influential person who had support of the police and the local administration.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018