Women rally against usurpation of their land in Nangarhar
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): A number of women on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration against usurping their lands by tribal elders in eastern Nangarhar province and threatened self-immolation if their properties were not returned to them.
The protesters gathered at the Pushtunistan Square and carried banners inscribed with names of the alleged land usurpers including Malak Naimat, Malak Nizam and Dawood.
The female protesters warned if their legitimate demand was not considered, they would set themselves alight.
A participant of the demonstration, Gulalai told Pajhwok Afghan News her land had been grabbed by tribal elders over the past few years in Behsud district, but there was no one to help her reclaim her land.
“Over the past two years, we had been complaining first to the former Behsud district chief, Israrullah, and then to the new one, Mohammad Sidiq Dawlatzai, but they did nothing.”
She said the current and the former district chiefs were themselves involved in land usurpation because instead of preventing their land from being usurped, they arrested her son them and destroyed their home.
Another protestor Salma said her land could be recovered from its illegal occupant despites orders from the Supreme Court, Nangarhar government and the provincial council.
Meanwhile, provincial council member Habiba Kakar joined the protestors and accused the provincial government of being unable to recover usurped land from illegal grabbers.
Governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogayani said the protestors after ending their protest were called on Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi who assured them of resolution to the issue.
The governor said until the issue was not resolved, no one would be allowed to carry out construction works in Behsud district on the disputed land.
However Behsud district chief Mohammad Sidiq Dawalzai said the issue was sub judice and out of his authority.
The district chief said he had been newly appointed as the administrative chief and had no enough information about those involved in land grab incidents. “But I assure them I would try my level best to find a solution to the problem.”
It was for the first time that the issue of private lands’ usurpation is raised in the province. Earlier thousands of acres of government land had been grabbed in Nangarhar.
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