MUZAFFARABAD: Nine constables of Elite Police and Frontier Reserve Police (FRP) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were taken into custody in Sharda town of Neelum valley for resorting to straight and aerial firing which left a local youth dead, officials said.
Around 500 Elite Force and FRP personnel had been detailed in the upper belt of Neelum valley to maintain law and order during the elections.
Sharda Station House Officer Mumtaz Hussain told Dawn by telephone that local police arranged some six coasters for their return and dispatched around 350 of them for the provincial headquarters in the morning.
He said since Neelum valley lacked enough private transport the police arranged three more vehicles to dispatch the remaining 105 personnel.
However, he said, the civil armed forces personnel started misbehaving and manhandling him and his two subordinates in front of local residents.
“Someone among them also hurled a stone on me… When a resident came to my rescue they manhandled him as well,” he claimed, adding that this led to clashes between local residents and the armed personnel.
The SHO said that one of the civil armed forces personnel resorted to direct firing which hit Attiqur Rehman, a local youth, in the head and he died on way to the hospital.
As locals got infuriated and pelted stones on the armed personnel, they resorted to aerial firing, he added.
Some video clips shared on social media also showed Sharda bazaar having been turned into a battleground.
Local residents also blocked the main road for all kinds of traffic.
SHO Hussain said that after senior police and army officers visited the area and held talks with all sides, the Elite Force official who resorted to straight firing and eight others who resorted to aerial firing were arrested and lodged in the local police station.
In a late night press release, a spokesperson for AJK police confirmed the incident and said an FIR had been registered against the Elite Force constable on the complaint of victim’s family and added that the aggrieved family would be dispensed justice.
On this, local residents ended the road blockade and dispersed, the spokesperson said.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021