Highway commander accused of brutalities
FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Hundreds of residents of the Bala Balok district of northwestern Farah province on Wednesday protested against a highway police commander here, accusing him of killing and injuring innocent people.
About 300 protestors, mostly shopkeepers, closed the main highway connecting the town with Farah City, the provincial capital, and chanted full-throated slogans against the commander.
They kept closed the road for one hour and later marched toward the Governor’s House and then the provincial council office, where they submitted their complaints.
Farid Ahmad Bakhtawar, the provincial council head, confirmed the gap between police and the district residents had widened and trust needed to be restored. He described as genuine the allegations against the highway police commander.
Governor Mohammad Omar Sherzad promised complaints of the residents would be investigated soon and highway commander Khudaidad would be fired and prosecuted if found guilty.
Malook, a 60-year-old resident, accused the commander of running a private jail and detaining people he disliked. He claimed Khdaidad extorted money from people, including farmers, and tortured those who refused.
The protestors said the commander had ordered closed many shops in the district. Malook alleged the commander had killed, wounded and detained dozens of innocent people since he took charge seven years ago. But he has got away with allhis brutalities.
A few days ago, the protestors claimed, Khudaidad’s guards opened fire at shopkeepers in Farahrod, injuring several shopkeepers and civilians.
Among the protestors were some individuals who claimed they had been previously injured by Khudaidad.
One of them, Saleh Mohammad, 45, from Farahrud said he was busy working his farms last week when Khudaidad men came and opened fire at them. He was injured in the firing that he said was meant to improve their aim.
He said the commander collected extortion money from shopkeepers each month and forcibly closed shops of those refusing.
“A man was carrying his wife on a motorcycle in the Shiwan area of Farahrod last afternoon when Khudaidad's men opened fire at them, killing the woman,” Mohammad claimed.
Pajhwok tried to establish contact with Khudaidad but did not succeed.
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