Death of child sparks protest in Bajaur

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BAJAUR: The death of a child after he fell into a ditch caused by illegal excavation of sand from riverbed sparked protest by the residents of Yousaf Abad area here on 19 June 2024. The protesters, including political and social activists, kept the main Khar-Munda Road blocked to vehicular traffic for two hours. The participants said that the 10-year-old child, who was the nephew of a retired police official, died after falling into a ditch the other day.

They alleged that such ditches had been created due to the excessive illegal excavation of sand in the riverbed. The demonstrators said the deep ditches posed a serious threat to the lives of people, especially children. The protesters said they had brought the matter into the notice of the relevant officials many times, but no action was taken against the culprits.

MNA Mubarakzeb Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami leader Haji Sardar Khan, Aaurangzeb Khan of PPP and others addressed the protesters, and expressed anger over the incident. Accusing the authorities of negligence, which led to the incident, they demanded of the district administration to stop the illegal excavation of sand and stones from the riverbed, which had formed big ditches.

They demanded of the provincial government to extend financial assistance to the victim`s family. The protesters dispersed after the MNA assured them of finding a durable solution to the issue. Meanwhile, a boy drowned in a small dam in Zoorbandar area of Khar tehsil here on 19 June 2024.

Local residents and Rescue 1122 officials said the incident occurred at around 11am when a group of boys was walking along the dam reservoir.

While quoting eyewitnesses, they told Dawn that one of the boys suddenly slipped into the reservoir and drowned. The dead body was later fished out after several hours of search.

He was identifies as Sulaiman Khan (13), a resident of Zoor Banda. The officials said the body was later handed over to his family after necessary formalities conducted at the tehsil headquarters hospital Nawagai.

Acknowledgement: Published in Dawn News on 20th June 2024.

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