BARA: Police have filed a case against 10 members of Sepah tribe and arrested one of them over allegedly uprooting the newly planted saplings of the plantation campaign of the government in Khyber tribal district.

During the two-day plantation campaign in Khyber district, an angry mob had stormed the site of plantation campaign by the Forest Department and uprooted hundreds of plants, alleging that the land is disputed. After the incident, a first information report (FIR) was filed under the complaint of the Bara forest officer in which 10 members of Sepah tribe were nominated.

According to FIR filed with Bara Police, the Forest Department officials along with the Tiger Force volunteers were busy in plantation campaign in Mandi Kas area when the local residents misbehaved with them and uprooted the plants. The mob also allegedly took away tools from the officials used in the plantation campaign.

One person nominated in the FIR has been arrested, while raids are continuing to arrest the remaining accused.

On Sunday, an angry mob uprooted hundreds of newly planted saplings, claiming that these have been planted on disputed lands.

The local people said they were not taken into confidence over plantation campaign which tantamount to usurpation of their land. The participants of the protest said the land’s ownership is disputed between Sepah and Malikdinkhel tribes. They said the government should have taken permission from both the tribes before carrying out plantation on the land.

Local sources said all the protesters belonged to Sepah tribe who uprooted thousands of saplings from several acres land. Some participants of the protest also made videos of the incident and people are making different kinds of comments.

KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan also took notice of the incident and ordered action against the people involved in the incident.

However, later in the day, the district administration held negotiations with the elders of the area after which they agreed to plant saplings in their area.

Deputy Commissioner Mehmood Aslam Wazir said the district administration, Forest Department and Tiger Force volunteers resumed plantation campaign in Mandi Kas area after the dispute was over. He said 50,000 saplings will be planted in the whole tehsil.




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