Islamabad [Pakistan], April 1 (ANI): Four people, including a policeman, were injured after a clash erupted between police and protesters over the distribution of free flour in the Maira region of Bisham tehsil in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dawn reported.
The clashes erupted on Thursday when protesters tried to loot flour bags meant for free distribution among deserving people. Three protesters and a police constable were injured in the clash. Police vehicles were also damaged as protesters pelted stones at them.
Speaking to Dawn, Dandai SHO Fazal Elahi said that protesters, led by village council chairman Shah Zenat, blocked Karakoram Highway and tried to loot flour bags that were being taken to Bisham from a flour mill. He said that protesters pelted stones at police when they tried to stop them from looting the flour truck.
Shah Zenat, who led the protest, said that they were holding protests against the unjust distribution of flour. Zenat said that protesters were demanding the establishment of more points. However, police started baton charges and injured several people, as per the Dawn report.
Assistant Commissioner Mohammad Jawad Asif said that protesters targeted a police station in Dandai. He said that police fired in the air to disperse the protesters. However, the road continued to remain blocked for four hours.
Jawad Asif said that the issue of flour distribution points was discussed in the talks between protesters and the local administration. He further said that protesters were raising demands for the transfer of SHO Fazal Elahi, which was not possible. He said that FIR was lodged against some of the protesters, who attacked the police vehicle and police station.
In Swabi, Jamaat-i-Islami held a protest against price hikes and irregularities in the free distribution of wheat flour among deserving people. A large number of people joined the protest and raised slogans against officials involved in irregularities, as per the news report.
The protesters said that there was a lack of a perfect mechanism to distribute flour among people in an easy manner. Addressing the protesters, JI leaders Mehmoodul Hassan, Mian Iftikhar Bacha and Imaduddin said that the government, instead of giving relief to poor people during Ramazan, made their lives miserable.
The Jamaat-e-Islami leaders said that even women stood in long queues for the entire day to get the substandard flour. In Bajaur, JI leaders threatened to start a massive movement if the mechanism of flour distribution was not changed immediately, as per the news report. The JI leaders said that there was corruption, irregularities and mismanagement in the distribution of free wheat flour in the district.
Last week, a man and a woman were killed at free flour distribution points in separate incidents in Punjab province, Dawn reported. In two separate areas of Punjab province, a man and woman were killed at free flour points in Muzaffargarh and Khairpur Tamewali.
In the Jatoi area of Muzaffargarh, an elderly woman named Zahra Mai fell on the ground due to a large gathering and died on the spot. In the same incident, another two women also fainted but rescue officials shifted them to a hospital for treatment, according to Dawn.
Meanwhile, in Khairpur Tamewali (Bahawalpur), a man lost his life during the distribution of free flour bags on Saturday. Muhammad Safdar died after he had managed to collect free four bags from the distribution point in Khairpur Tamewali. (ANI)