Hundreds rally against defiant Zabul police chief
QALAT (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people on Tuesday protested against the police chief of southern Zabul province, blocking the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
Some 500 people took part in the rally that emerged about 9am from the Eid Gah mosque in Qalat, the provincial capital, chanting slogans against the police chief, Brig. Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewanai.
Provincial council chief, Haji Atta Jan, one of the protest organisers, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Zabul police and their chief himself were involved in corruption and harassing residents. He called for the police chief to be removed.
He said they had dispatched their complaints against the police chief to the Ministry of Interior and the Presidential Palace, but failed to elicit a positive response.
The public representative warned if their demands went unmet, they would continue their protest.
Tribal elder Sardar Mohammad Gharnai also warned of continued protests if the police chief was not removed. He said all Zabul departments were rife with corruption and the president should take a notice and introduce drastic reforms.
Some other protestors claimed innocent people were being held at the province’s jails and corruption had reached the peak in provincial departments.
But Brig. Gen. Rogh Lewanai said he had been appointed as the police chief by the Ministry of Interior and a decision about his removal rested with the ministry.
He said the Interior Ministry had sent him a letter calling for retaking usurped land from a powerful individual, but some people wanted to prevent the law from being implemented. The police chief said he would not bow to illegal demands.
Rogh Lewanai reasoned if he endorsed all demands of the provincial council members and powerful figures, he would be in their good books, but they would protest if he attempted to enforce law.
The rally comes a day after provincial council members closed their office in protest.
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