Saturday December 04, 2021

Forest ownership dispute: Nine people killed in Upper Dir clash

July 31, 2020

DIR: Nine people were killed and five others injured in an armed clash between two groups over a forest ownership dispute in the Chiragali area of Upper Dir on Thursday, said police and residents.

The clash took place after funeral where the two groups allegedly opened fire on each other. Relatives and fellow villagers of the deceased alleged that the man whose funeral was offered had died of cardiac arrest out of fear after being booked by the Forest Department for felling a tree allegedly on the complaint of the members of the other group.

District Police Officer Mian Naseeb Jan said 10 people were killed in the clash but residents put the number of dead at nine. The slain people were identified as Ihsan, Sultanat Khan, Said Ghafoor, Rooz Amin, Muhammad Raziq, Abdur Raheem, Farman, Isa Khan and nine years old Jawad.

Police and residents said the armed clash started after verbal heated arguments between the groups. The group that allegedly opened indiscriminate fire on the rival group belonged to the same Chiragali village but had migrated to a nearby village Katan with a claim to the ownership of the forest. They came armed for the funeral and allegedly killed eight residents of Chiragali in the clash. One person was killed from this group.

Five persons were also injured in the firing. They were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in Dir but two of them transported to Peshawar for their serious condition. Police contingents were sent to the area after the clash. The DPO said all those involved in the killings would soon be arrested. Armed clashes over the ownership of forests in Upper Dir are not unusual but this was the bloodiest such incident, this year.