SHANGLA: The remains of the 16 coal miners, recovered from a mass grave in Sor Chappar area of Darra Adamkhel tribal subdivision of Kohat on Friday, were buried in their native graveyards here on Saturday.

Collective funeral prayers of all the deceased were offered at the Alpuri Chowk which were attended by a large number of people. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz provincial president Amir Muqam, provincial minister for labour and culture Shaukat Yousafzai, and minerals minister Arif Ahmedzai were also present.

According to local residents, three brothers and their uncle were buried in Ranyal Basia area, while the rest were laid to rest in Pirabad, Dehrai, Miankaly and Alpuri areas.

The main Bisham-Swat Road at Alpuri Chowk remained blocked for an hour during the course of the funeral.

Following the burial, the people staged a protest demonstration demanding safety of coal miners at the workplace. They also demanded a financial package for the deceased miners, who were abducted in 2011 and their remains were found from a mass grave on Friday.

On the occasion, PML-N provincial president Amir Muqam said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should ensure safety of miners at the workplace. He said people of Shangla had become tired of receiving bodies of their relatives.

He urged the government to immediately announce a financial package for the bereaved families.

Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said on his request the chief minister had approved a package under which Rs2.5 million each would be paid to the families of the deceased miners.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2021

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