Two railway constables were martyred while five people — including a police inspector — were injured after the police clashed with the staff of a private shopping mall over a land dispute on Nowshera Road in Mardan on Sunday.

DPO Zahoor Babar Afridi said there was a lease dispute between Zaman Sons Shopping Mall on Mardan Nowshera Road and the Railway Department for some time, adding that the matter had also been taken to the Peshawar High Court.

The railway personnel and the Mardan administration had sealed the shopping mall four days ago, after which the owner reopened it last night, the DPO said.

According to DPO Afridi, the railway police arrived today to seal the shopping mall again, resulting in a spat that escalated into a physical altercation, during which firing was opened and two constables of railway police — Waqas Khan and Umar Khan — were martyred.

Five employees of the shopping mall, including Inspector Feroze Khan, were also injured, following which eight people were detained and mall was sealed, while the bodies and the injured were transferred to the Mardan Medical Complex.

A first information report (FIR) of the matter has not been registered yet.

Provincial Minister for Food Zahir Shah Toru visited the injured in the hospital and blamed the railways police for the escalation of the matter.

He said that the entire situation was brought to the notice of the district administration as well as the police, and the matter was pending in the high court, but still the railway police “overstepped their authority”.

The minister also demanded a high level inquiry against the railway authorities.

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