SWABI: A fire broke out in a godown of a tobacco company here on Friday, reducing Flue-Cured Virginia (FCV) worth millions of rupees into ashes, Rescue 1122 and district administration officials said.

Several sections of the godown situated in the Ismailia village on the Swabi-Mardan Road caught fire, forcing the workers to run for safety.

“The godown is one of the major stores of the company and tobacco purchasing and other numerous processes are conducted here,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

The workers said they saw huge smoke coming out from the windows of the godown.

A fire tender from Mardan was also called keeping in view the intensity of the blaze. The firefighters extinguished the blaze after hectic efforts, thus preventing it from reaching the other sections of the godown.

An official said details of the losses would be shared with the media, admitting that it had caused a huge loss to the company.

Separately, a 22-year-old man committed suicide by consuming poisonous pills in Baja village, the police said. The cause of the incident is stated to be a domestic dispute.

Also on Friday, the people of Jhanda and Pajman villages staged a protest demonstration against the police failure to arrest cattle thieves.

The protesters marched to the Jhanda police post, chanting slogans against the police. They said several cattle had been stolen from the area, but the police had yet to arrest them despite lodging complaints.

They said the police earlier arrested two people, but later set them free.

The protesters dispersed when the police officials assured them of arresting the thieves.

DRUG SMUGGLING BID FOILED: The police foiled a bid to smuggle a big quantity of charas to Punjab province, said district police officer Mohammad Shoaib Khan.

Talking to mediapersons the other day, he said Chota Lahor police led by DSP Taj Mohammad signalled a car to stop on the Swabi-Jehangira Road, but the driver ignored the signal. The police chased the car and arrested the driver.

SHO Altaf Khan said they recovered about 38 kilogrammes of charas from the car.

The alleged smuggler, Ayaz Durrani, belongs to Peshawar.

The Chota Lahor police registered an FIR against him.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2021

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