HANGU: Six armed militants bullied shopkeepers selling women garments and cosmetics in the Singair Bazaar in Hangu on Monday threatening them to remove curtains from the doors of the shops or face action.
Sources said the militants riding motorbikes and wielding lashes reached the market after the Zuhr prayers and instructed the garment merchants to remove the blinds from shops. The traders often hang curtains at the shops’ entrance so that purdah-observing women shoppers aren’t disturbed with stares of men loitering nearby.
The sources said certain shopkeepers were whipped by the militants with the lashes they were holding in their hands and they also vandalized the cosmetics shops.Eyewitness reports said the militants remained in the market for more than 20 minutes and then left on their motorbikes hurling threats at the merchants.
When the District Police Officer (DPO) Dr Saeed Ahmad was contacted, he confirmed the incident and said the brother and father of one of the accused had been arrested. He added the shopkeepers did not report the incident in time to the police due to the fear of militants. However, he said the police would not allow any group to terrorize the residents or challenge the writ of the state in Hangu.