HARIPUR: Five persons were killed and three others injured when rival groups traded fire over a land dispute in Maira Changi Bandi area in the limits of the Sera-i-Saleh police station here on Sunday.

Police officials said that those killed included two brothers and a man and his son. Both groups were close relatives, who had been engaged in a court battle for the last over two decades, the officials said.

The officials said that there had been a longstanding dispute between the families of Abid Shah and his cousin, Mazhar Shah, both residents of Changi Bandi village, over a piece of 12 kanals of inherited land that was in fact the property of a late paternal aunt of Abid Shah.

After a long court battle, the Abid Shah group had reportedly won the case from the local court, and the revenue magistrate had handed over the possession of the land amid police security to his family from the rival group five days ago.

When Abid Shah, his brother and other family members reached the agriculture land with a tractor on Sunday morning, Mazhar Shah and his family members allegedly armed with axes, sticks and weapons attacked them.

As a result, Abid Shah, his brother Abbas Shah, Zulqarnain Haider Shah, son of Abbas Shah, and Syed Ashfaq Shah were killed on the spot.

During the clash, Mazhar Shah, Kazim Shah, Nazak Shah and another person from the other side were also injured. The police shifted the bodies and the injured to the Haripur Trauma Centre, where Mazhar Shah was pronounced dead.

The Mazhar Shah group accused the Abid Shah group of attacking them. However, the police have registered cross FIRs and arrested four of the 10 accused nominated in the case.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2023

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