Troops Called Out In N. Areas
24 February 2004
Gilgit: Troops have been called out in Northern Areas to help the administration maintain peace in Muharram. Northern Areas Inspector-General of Police Sakhiullah Tareen told a press conference on Monday that security had been tightened as some elements belonging to outlawed organizations were active to destroy peace in the region. Mr Tareen said they had found a clue to the destruction of schools in Diamer district and investigations were under way to arrest the culprits. He said some elements might try to divert people's attention from the operation going on against terrorists in South Waziristan by attacking schools in Diamer. The IGP said they had deployed police at 143 Imambargahs in Gilgit to ensure law and order during Muharram for which they had also sought help from the paramilitary troops. FC WITHDRAWAL DEMANDED: Over 2,000 villagers, including women, have asked the federal government to withdraw Frontier Constabulary from the Northern Areas as, according to them, the FC had failed to maintain order in the region. Talking to the Young Lawyers Forum on Monday, the villagers said the FC was responsible for the death of a youth, Ilyas Karim, on Feb 12. They called for an impartial investigation against the FC. Some lawyers, who had met a delegation of villagers headed by Syed Abbas Ali Shah, said they would file a petition in the Northern Areas Chief Court if an FIR was not registered against the FC personnel. The residents of Nomal village demanded that their property rights on the 700-acre disputed land should be recognized. They said only after that they would spare the land for the proposed KIU campus. They also asked the authorities concerned to revoke illegal allotments in Chilmish Das and ban future allotments. They said in case the KIU campus was built on the disputed land, then the people of Nomal should be given jobs in the KIU.