Protestors block highway over arrests
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Villagers once again blocked the busy Farah-Herat highway in the Bala Baluk district of western Farah province on Wednesday, saying their eight men remained in custody of Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel.
ALP members had arrested several residents of Shewan and other villages in connection with the abduction of their commander Ahmad Shah’s son.
The Taliban kidnapped Shah’s son last Friday night from the Kanjabad area. The boy is yet to be freed by the insurgents.
The ALP personnel released 36 villagers they had arrested in connection with the abduction after a protest by residents on Sunday, when the Farah-Herat highway was blocked for several hours.
A resident of Shewan village, Sheikh Ahmad, who took part in the protest, told Pajhwok Afghan News over the telephone that provincial officials had promised them all the detainees would be released.
He said residents once against carried out the protest and blocked the highway because eight detainees were yet to be released.
He claimed ALP members had confiscated many motorcycles belonging to local residents and had severely beaten the detainees.
Ahmad said all those detained were innocent and had nothing to do with the abduction. He warned they would continue to protest until all the detainees were released.
Gul Ahmad Azami, who represents Farah province in the Wolesi Jirga, said he had raised the issue with the provincial governor and had asked him to investigate the issue and release the detainees.
But the provincial police spokesman, Javed Ahmad, said police did not release the remaining eight individuals because they had links with the Taliban.
He said the protestors, whose number did not exceed 60 persons, had launched the protest at the behest of Taliban.
But Sheikh Ahmad said nearly 1400 people took part in the protest, insisting those detained were innocent.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.