LAKKI MARWAT: Prominent religious scholars of Bannu district on Friday began efforts to convince Janikhel tribesmen to end the protest sit-in and bury the four teenage boys.

The relatives of the victims and local tribesmen have been protesting the brutal killing of the boys for last six days by placing their bodies in front of the Janikhel police station.

The bodies were recovered from a field on Sunday.

According to sources, a delegation of religious scholars reached Janikhel on Saturday afternoon and held talks with the protesters, highlighting the importance of immediate burial of the dead in light of the teachings of Islam.

Protesters demand arrest of the killers of four boys

The sources said the local administration had sought the help of ulema to convince the protesters to end agitation after a government team headed by transport minister Malik Shah Mohammad Khan failed to reach an agreement with the tribal chiefs.

They said the government team had assured the elders that the bereaved families would get Rs1 million compensation each, and that all available resources would be used to arrest the culprits.

Meanwhile, Qaumi Watan Party’s provincial general secretary Hashim Baber, former tehsil nazim Fida Mohammad Khan and elders of different tribes visited Janikhel to express solidarity with bereaved families.

JIRGA: Elders of Kala Mastikhel and Ahmadzai Wazir Domel areas have announced to support the Bannu Qaumi Jirga in its struggle for highlighting the concerns of farmers that the construction of the Kurrum Tangi Dam would leave no or less irrigation water for their lands.

They made the announcement during meetings with the jirga members on Saturday. Former MPA Alamagir Khan Wazir, former nazim Malik Zafar Ali Khan and other elders were in attendance.

Jirga member Pir Syed Qaiser Abbas Shah said they did not oppose the project, but wanted that it should not affect the flow of water to the lands dependent on irrigation water.

He pointed out that the dam would reduce water level in the River Kurrum, as a result, the canals would turn dry, thus gravely affecting the local farmers.

Meanwhile, the Bannu district administration has banned display of weapons, pillion-riding and use of tinted glass for one month, an official said on Saturday.

He said deputy commissioner Mohammad Zubair Niazi imposed the ban on the request of district police chief to ensure security of vaccinators during the anti-polio campaign commencing from Monday.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2021

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