LANDI KOTAL: Scores of Khyber tribesmen took to the roads on Tuesday against raids on their houses without any prior intimation to the local elders.

Chanting slogans against the law enforcement agencies, the protesting Walikhel tribesmen marched to the Sultankhel market and blocked the main Peshawar-Torkham Highway for several hours.

Some angry protesters severely beat up a local resident, believed to be a college student, for providing secret and incorrect information about presence of contraband in their houses.

Security personnel conducted raids in Sultankhel and Walikhel localities suspecting that illegal arms were kept there. They, however, failed to recover any unlawful thing during the raids.

Addressing the protesters, Khyber Youth Forum leader Aamir Afridi, tribal elder Malakzada Mehbub Alam Afridi and transporter Mustaqil Afridi termed the raids uncalled-for, and demanded immediate halt to them.

We will hold a protest demonstration at Balahisar, the FC headquarters in Peshawar, if such raids are not stopped forthwith, they warned. They said they were willing to take action if any one kept any objectionable item in their houses if the forces shared information with them.

The protest was called off after an assurance by the Landi Kotal assistant commissioner to hold an inquiry into the false information, which led to the raids, and action against the culprits.

An official of local administration said the Walikhel elders had lodged a complaint regarding raids on their houses and negotiations were held in that regard.

He, however, said the tribesmen resorted to protests despite the administration’s earlier assurance to look into the matter.

The tribesmen expressed serious reservations over the absence of a woman searcher during raids on their houses. They alleged that security forces forcibly entered their houses, which was against local norms and traditions.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2018

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