Rallies for & against municipality staged
LASHKARGAH (PAN): Residents on Saturday staged two separate demonstrations against and in support of the municipality department in southern Helmand province.
The anti-municipality rally was attended by around 200 people, who had gathered in a playground in Lashkargah, the provincial capital.
Chanting slogans against the municipality, they accused it of brazen corruption in distribution of land plots. They said most plots were given to officials and blue-eyed individuals.
One of them, Noor Agha, blamed the municipality for according a high priority to government officials when it came to distribution of residential plots.
He asked the government to bring reforms to the department and stop unauthorised distribution of plots. Agha warned if the demand was ignored and corrupt officials continued to fleece residents, they would not call off their protests.
Another protestor, Haji Bismillah, lashed out at the municipality for allotting commercial and residential plots unde underhand deals.
Haji Qasim, who took part in the pro-municipality rally, said protests should be avoided due to grave security concerns in the provincial capital.
He rejected claims that plots were illegally distributed, saying the process had so far been transparent. He said some powerful individuals were behind the anti-municipality rally to push for the appointment of their men and safeguard their interests.
Mayor Mohammad Fazl Sapi slammed the allegations as unfounded, saying no commercial or residential plots had so far been allotted to anyone and that they had no such plan.
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