BAJAUR: A group of people of minerals-rich Kamangra area of Bajaur tribal district have held a protest demonstration against issuance of no-objection certificate (NOC) to a non-local person for excavation of minerals in the area and set on fire his excavator.

Residents told this correspondent here on Saturday, that a group of people of hilly Kamangra locality of Nawagai tehsil held a protest demonstration after the government gave NOC to a non-local person for excavation of minerals in the region.

The villagers expressed concern over grant of the lease to an outsider without their consent.

They criticised the provincial government, minerals department and district administration for not taking the villagers into confidence before granting the lease.

Nawagai AC says FIRs to be registered against ‘miscreants’

The protesters termed the grant of mines to a non-local person unlawful and against the agreement between the residents and authorities that only the local people had the right to allow grant of mines lease in the region.

The villagers said they had brought the issue into the authorities notice, but did not get a response.

They vowed not to allow any outside for excavation of minerals in their area.

When contacted, Nawagai subdivision assistant commissioner Habibullah Khan Wazir confirmed the torching of an excavator by a group of people.

He said the district administration was going to register FIRs against the ‘miscreants’ for taking law into their hands.

The AC claimed the contractor (leaseholder), Abdul Ghafar Khan, was a local resident and was issued the lease of mines by the government with the consent of residents.

He expressed concern over torching of the excavator and termed it an ‘act of miscreants’ who wanted to create law and order situation in the area.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2020

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