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Mafia groups within MoI pocket privileges of deceased soldiers

Mafia groups within MoI pocket privileges of deceased soldiers

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Mar 31, 2018 - 08:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Some ‘mafia’ circles in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) recruit teenage boys in police ranks by forging documents and after they get killed within a short period of their job due to no combat experience, the mafia then pockets privileges in the deceased’s name, Pajhwok Afghan News has learnt.

Afghan government officials have repeatedly said they strongly defend children’s rights. But in fact boys under the age of 18 years are still recruited in security forces.

The Afghanistaninfo-icon civil law regards under 18 years old as children. The Afghan government has also signed an action plan with the United Nations in 2011, based on which the government should defend children’s rights and prevent their recruitment in armed forces.

Baloch, son of Erfanullah was below the legal age of 18 years when he was recruited in police and got killed the same day.

A resident of Watapur district of eastern Kunar province, Baloch in a strange and painful incident lost his life and his family now faces serious problems.

Evidences are available how the mafia circle played with Baloch’s innocent emotions and encouraged him to do job in police.

In late January this year, Baloch was referred to the Kunar police headquarter with an application without informing his family. He was accepted on the first day to do job as a policeman before his age reaches 18 years.

On the same day, he was sent to a battle in southern Ghazni province where he lost his life to Talibaninfo-icon bullets on the first night.

Conditions for recruitment in police ranks

Article 5 of police law says a person should be above 18 years of age when recruited as an officer or corporal. The article says a person being recruited should be strong morally and physically.

According to MoI’s recruitment rules, persons graduated from high school could be recruited as an officer or a corporal.

The rules say applicants should be recruited through an entry exam and should be committed to a long term police job and be obedient of all the country’s laws.

Guarantor

Police recruitment rules require a new officer to be guaranteed by at least two other persons already in police.

The documents show Baloch was guaranteed by two police officials named Bahadur son of Abdul Qayum and Quraishullah son of Mohammad Sadiq.

The guarantee letter shows 2nd Lt. Bahadur serves in Nawa district of southern Helmand province. However, local officials in Nawa district told Pajhwok Afghan News that no one by name Bahadur in that police rank had worked with them.

But they said a police constable Bahadur had worked with them but he was killed by Taliban two years back.

The second guarantor of Baloch is Quraishullah, but there is no information about his identity and job details in the guarantee letter.

Quraishullah writes in the letter: “I guarantee “Erfanullah son of Baloch” in the occupation,” Erfanullah is not son of Baloch but his father and Quraishullah has guaranteed Erfanullah instead of his son.

Forgery in Tazkira (identity card)

Those who recruited Baloch had altered his ID card as well as written his age two years older in his Tazkira.

Baloch reached 18 years of age in 1396 solar yearinfo-icon but the year had been changed in his ID card from 1396 to 1394, making him 20 years old.

But Pajhwok has obtained Baloch’s original ID card from the Population Office in Watapur district. The population office director of the district has signed Baloch’s ID card that shows he turns 18 in 1396 solar year.

Baloch’s one-day duty

The available documents show Baloch was recruited on January 28 and sent to a security checkpoint in Jamal Kala village of Andar district of Ghazni province the same day.

When it was night, the Taliban attacked their checkpoint and killed Baloch and several other policemen.

Baloch was recruited against 12,000 afghanis monthly salary. An official letter lists the policemen killed in Zankhan district of Ghazni within 72 hours of Baloch’s killing in Taliban attacks.

They include Mahruddin, resident of Badakhshan, Idrees from Achin district of Nangarhar, brothers Mohammad Aslam and Mohammad Omar from Sar-i-Pul province and Mir Hamza from Logar province

Amanullah son of Mobin Shah from Achin district of Nangarhar was jointly sent to Andar district with Baloch and he too was killed.

Erfanullah, father of Baloch seeks justice

Erfanullah told Pajhwok that his son had been missing from home for some days before he was found dead.

“I was on a travel, my son was missing for a few days, when I returned home, I started searching for him. Next day I received a call from a friend who told me my son’s body is laying in the police hospital in Kabul,” he said.

The father said two days had passed since his death but the government did not inform him until his body was found in hospital.

Erfanullah added after the funeral prayer of son, he launched efforts to know how his son was entered police ranks and how he was killed.

“I don’t know who for the first time encouraged Baloch, my son lived in Kunar and did not see Nangarhar, but he surfaced as policeman in Ghazni. I wa surprised to the entire episod,” he said.

Erfanullah said he went to Ghazni province with his brother to investigate the incident happened with Baloch.

“We talked to all security officials in Ghazni, but nobody responded to us in a positive manner. An individual wearing simple clothes in front of Police Headquarters told me that May Allah accept his martyrdom,” he said.

“When I heard him saying this, I quickly understood that things gone wrong due to this person, I grabbed him tightly from neck told him you killed my son, I will not let you go,” he added.

That person managed to free himself and on his way back said: “Yes, I killed your son, do whatever you can.”

He said he applied to judicial organs in this regard but there was no feedback.

Erfanullah added: “Mafia groups had been settled within the Ministry of Interior (MoI), new youth entered police ranks without any military trainings and dispatched to the first line of fire and killed there, but salaries and other privileges were received by mafia groups.”

Baloch father said: “He was in seventh class, he was 16-year-old, I am surprised how he was absorbed in police ranks.

He asked President Ghani to stop these mafia groups from the MoI otherwise more youth would lose their identity.

This not only Baloch who had become victim of such case many other youth had become victims such cases.

Another 15-year-old youth from Kabul’s Gagdalak area in Sarobi district become the viticim of similar case.

We forced to fight with empty stomach: Ahmad Fahim

Ahmad Fahim, not a real name, has provided information to Pajhwok Afghan News about the incident happened to him.

He said Khan Mohammad, not a real name, who is their villager and worked in Kandahar City, told him that here was need for 15 security guards in the Aino Mena Township.

“We were fed up with unemployment in the village an it looked good to have decent job. We rushed to the district headquarters in Sarobai and created Identity Cards (ID) and came to Kabul on the next morning,” he said.

He added in the morning they traveled to Kandahar where they faced with Rahimullah, not a real name, one of the police commanders.

He said Rahimullah said that all the formalities would be completed in two days then you can serve as security guards in Aino Mena.

Rahimullah took them to Shahra Kandak and kept them there in a container type room.

“We doubted our being in container and telephoned Khan Mohammad.” He came talked to Rahimullah who assured him to finish the formalities.

He added they spent 10-days there and were even not allowed to go out and buy a telephone card.

“On 11th   day they talked about going to Arghandab where to check a check-post. We moved at around 1:00pm and reached late. We were 15 people and handed over six old weapons with a magazine of bullets. The Taliban attacked army check-point and we were told to fight. We told them we never fought they warned us to death and pressed over launching the firefight.”

“We had no option but to fight, after an hour went to Chanatour district of Uruzgan where we were handed over the charge of a check-post,” he said.

 In order to escape from this situation, five people manage to flee the area who later caught in Kandahar and were beaten badly and dispatched them back to Uruzgan.

Fahim said: “Noorullah, not a real name, was commanding the fight who said: “All of you have to die no one will be left alive.”

“We had some Salaam Network connections and managed to call our families we asked them to release us from this situation,” he added.

Fahim said on the next night The Taliban attacked them Commander Norullah and his friends injured in the attack and dispatched to the hospital in Kandahar.

“See the sign of bullet in my back neck; it is from the bullet which hit me in Chinartuo check-post.

He said: “I don’t know who contacted our elders, but they came after me at Kandahar hospital and transfer me to Kabul.”

From their group, he said Noorullah kept six people and said they had to go to the battle and should die there.

Tribal elder of Sarobi district:

A tribal elder from Jagdalak locality who wished to go unnamed said, 15 men from their locality had been deceived and transferred to the battle field.

“The telephoned me yield and said they had been plunged in such crisis to I contacted other elders,” he said.

 He said he contacted Afghan Mellat Party Head Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, Former Kunduz Governor Anwar Jagdalak, Lawmaker Mohammad Akbar Stanikzai, Kandahar officials at National Security Council and other officials in this case.

“We dispatched a group to Kandahar who talked to Police Chief Gen. Razeq and released these boys being kept by Shahra Commander Noorullah,” he said.

These young men were recovered in bad situation some were beaten some got injured in firefight.

“This is a huge conspiracy hitched by mafia groups in order to get the salary, privileges and other financial profits themselves and fill their pockets,” he added.

He asked to the president to prevent the mafia groups otherwise the country would face immense issues.

Cemetery for the unclaimed

There is a graveyard in the Spin Boldak border town of Kandahar province for unclaimed bodies. Mostly young police officers are buried in this cemetery.

A security official, who did not want to be named, said the graveyard was called the cemetery of the dead without heir.

“A few years ago, when I came here, there were several old graves here. But now more than a thousand graves of young police personnel killed by Taliban insurgents can be seen in this cemetery.

“Some youth want to go to Iran or other countries through Pakistaninfo-icon. When arrested by Pakistan police, they are deported through Spin Boldak, where police officials fill out forms for them and recruit them into the police force,” he added.

According to the official, the youngsters do not know how to fight against the enemy. More often than not, they are killed within a month of recruitment and laid to rest there.

On the other hand, residents, tribal leaders and security official in the district say the graveyard is known as the “Cemetery of Martyrs”.Most of those buried are those who have lost their lives in explosions and fighting against the Taliban.

Haji Abdul Shakoor, an elderly person, told Pajhwok the Cemetery of Martyrs-- located in the limits of district bazaar --had 800 to 900 graves. He said that residents laid to rest relatives killed in explosions and conflict.

Haji Niaz Mohammad Kakozai, a public representative and resident of Spin Boldak, called the graveyard a common cemetery.

But a border police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, scorned the claim that the plight of Afghan youth deported from Pakistan was exploited and recruited into police.

While scotching such speculation as wild and groundless, the official insisted the police recruitment process transparent and voluntary.

Recruitment based on conditions

In response to the claims, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Sharif Amin, recruitment director, explained police personnel appointed after biometric screenings and intelligence clearance.

He said each recruit was required to complete eight to 12 weeks of training.“We don’t have police officers under the age of 18 years.”

Reminded that many youth were induced into going to the frontline with higher salaries and other privileges, he said: “We give ikramia to relatives of the martyrs after endorsement from their unit, division or brigade.”

Regarding Baloch’s case, Amin said he had definitely undergone training before being appointed as a police officer.“We approved the guarantees after they were confirmed by relevant agencies.”

But the agency which confirmed the presence of Baloch’s guarantors is not mention in the documents.

“We had seen policemen embracing martyrdom within an hour of joining the force, it is not something new”, replied MoI recruitment commander Brig. Gen. Amin when asked how Baloch was killed the same day he joined the force.

About tampering with Baloch’s national identity card, Amin said such details about volunteers joining police came from the concerned population registration offices.

On the presence of a mafia group, Brig. Gen. Amin said no one could be picked from a street against one’s wish and recruited in police because there were many legal formalities to be met.

“No one from his pocket can give salary, weapons and uniform,” said the commander, who said the case of Baloch and the Jakdalak area would be investigated by relevant organizations and he would like to see the results.

Cases like Baloch’s are clear examples of human trafficking in person.

Recruiting child soldiers is crime: Saleemi

Mohammad Hassan Saleemi, an official of the High Commission on Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, told Pajhwok Afghan News that President Ashraf Ghani last year appointed a high level delegation for investigating of the menace of trafficking in persons.

He said the delegation found a number of underage children who had been recruited in the National Directorate of security (NDSinfo-icon) and Afghan National Police and particularly local police.

He said militants also did not respect children’s rights and minors could be seen in their ranks.

Saleemi added security officials had promised no more recruitment of children in their ranks.

Article 3 of the Human Trafficking and Immigrant Trafficking Law says “to recruit, transfer, transport, harbor or receive a person for the purpose of exploitation, using the means of deceit is human trafficking.”

The article adds using children for illicit benefit by bringing under control is also human trafficking.

Article 10 of the Human Trafficking and Immigrant Trafficking Law says if the person trafficked is a boy or a girl the perpetrator should be sentenced to eight years in jail.

Mds/nh/sa/pk/ma

sa/mud

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