Photo by Malik Azmat

HANGU: A local organisation banned entry of women in Doaba Bazaar in Hangu without a male relative, but withdrew its ban after the intervention of the district administration.

The local organisation, Pasban-e-Doaba, issued leaflets in which it was stated that any shopkeeper selling items to any woman entering the bazaar without a male relative will have to pay Rs50,000 fine. The so-called notice signed by the area elders and maliks warned the shopkeepers that those who violated the Pasban decision will face forcible closure of their shops and expulsion from the area. The notice further warned the shopkeepers of strict action in case curtain was used to cover their shop.

The notice stated that a large number of women are nowadays visiting the bazaar and it is feared that it will give rise to obscenity in the area.

Deputy Commissioner Hangu Mansoor Arshad took notice of the matter and immediately issued a statement that there is no ban on women in Hangu Bazaar. He said action has been taken against those who have released the leaflets. He said no one will be allowed to deprive women of their basic rights.

The deputy commissioner said the visits of women in Doaba Bazaar were continuing as per routine and they were purchasing different items without any hindrance. He said the shopkeepers have been warned of strict action by the district administration if they did not cooperate with women customers. He said recommendations have been sent to the local police to take action against those who have published the leaflets. He said those who have done this will take back its so-called notice and also issue an apology.

After the administration’s action, Pasban-e-Doaba issued a written apology to the deputy commissioner and informed him that they are taking back their announcement.

Pasban-e-Doaba president Sardar Ali said the decision of banning women from visiting the market was wrong on which his organisation seeks apology. He said they have no objection whatsoever on the visit of women to Doaba Bazaar. He said the women can buy anything in the bazaar without any hindrance and shopkeepers must facilitate them.