CHARSADDA: Enraged people on Sunday razed to ground several shops built by the Auqaf department on a graveyard land on Charsadda-Tangi Road after body of a one-and-a-half-year-old boy surfaced during demolition of the graves.

The protesters lodged a report against an Auqaf department official identified as Gohar and his brothers in the city police station for encroachment on the graveyard.

They also accused assistant commissioner Abdul Wahab Khalil of hand in gloves with the graveyard destruction mafia.

The relatives of the child whose body was dug out warned to commit self-immolation in front of the deputy commissioner’s office if protection was not provided to graves of their relatives.

Addressing the protesters, Bacha Khan, Haji Tariq, Abdullah and others said they won’t allow desecration of graves of their relatives in the graveyard. They alleged that on one hand the government was running an anti-encroachment drive while on the other the same government officials were patronising the land mafia and constructing illegal shops along the busy Charsadda-Tangi Road.

They accused the district administration of keeping mum over the issue.

Meanwhile, Garhi Hameed Gul village council nazim Haji Hidayatullah said a few years ago shops built on the same spot were demolished by the PKHA during an anti-encroachment campaign, but now some influential people had joined hands with Gohar, an official of Auqaf department, and started construction of shops there.

They demanded of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to take action against the land mafia. The deputy commissioner said the district administration was not involved in building structures on the graveyard land.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2019