ISLAMABAD            -        An armed clash between two local transporter groups at Mandi Morr on the issue of fee collection left several injured on Friday, as the police did not move on the earlier complaints lodged by one of the groups, to avert the situation.

After the clash, cross FIRs were registered at the Sabzi Mandi police station as both the parties claimed that they were attacked by the other group.

The passengers and passersby ran for cover as the groups opened fire at each other.

The incident took place at Mandi Morr in Sector I-11 and the cause of the conflict is stated to be an old unsettled matter between the two groups relating to transport fee collection.

The supporters of one of the groups also put a bus on fire, according to an FIR. however, no loss of life was reported in the incident. As the groups opened fire at each other, Assistant Commissioner Saddar and SP police reached the spot and controlled the situation to stop further damage.

They also shifted the injured to local hospital for further medical treatment.

According to Raja Naveed, one of the complainants in the case, the police failed to access the gravity of the situation and ignored their complaints regarding extortion by the other transporter group. The officials, however, said that due course as per law would be taken as investigation into the incident is underway.

According to the officials who did not want to be named told The Nation that one of the two groups is Sadat Transport Group while the other is Raja Transport Group of Chirah.

Sadat travels constructed their terminal right across I-11 Panahgah and started plying vehicles on different routes after getting license/permit and NOC from MCI/ ICT.

On the other hand, Raja Transport Group used to ply vehicles on Chirah and Kahuta route, outside the Sadat Terminal in an open field.

That was the main issue between the two groups. Sadat Travels group wanted the other group to stop plying vehicles or pay them fee as they (Sadat Travels) were the legitimate transport terminal having permit and NOC from the MCI.

The other group was not coming on these terms and both were having negotiations for quite some time.

The officials believed that the other group has no such NOC or permit but said further investigations will clear this matter.

In a complaint lodged by Syed Abdul Sattar Shah, son of Walayat Shah, a resident of sector I-10/1, he said that he had won contract for fee collection from CDA/MCI.

He said drivers of the vehicles plying on Chirah-Mandi Morr route were not ready to pay the terminal fee.

He told the police that on February 28 at around 1:30pm, he was present at the terminal along with his son and other employees when drivers and owners of the vehicles plying on Chirah-Mandi Morr route armed with fire weapons approached there on their vehicles and opened fire at his employees.

He said that Raja Javed, Raja Changez, Raja Tariq, Raja Sohrab, Raja Khaqan, Raja Zafran, Behram Khalil, Raja Habib, Raja Aslain, Master Chan Mahboob, Raja Chan Mahmood, Haji Folaad Khan, Ilyas Khan, and some 35-40 other persons who can be identified upon seeing, attacked his employees. Resultantly, Murtaza Shah, Ilyas Gujjar and Ashraf Butt got bullet injuries.

Qaisar Waseem got head injury as Behram Jalil attacked him with a stick. Abdul Sattar Shah, in his complaint, further said that the accused also put on fire one of their own buses standing at the Mandi Morr while escaping from the scene.

The police registered a case under sections 324, 427, 148, and 149 of the PPC.

Another complaint was also lodged with the police by Raja Naveed, son of Gulistan Khan, a resident of Chirah area in the same case in which he stated that Abdul Sattar Shah, Sardar Javed, Nafees Satti, Asim Satti and 30-32 other armed men attacked him and put his bus on fire.

According to the FIR, Abdul Sattar Shah and his henchmen have been seeking money from the driver of the buses plying on Chirah-Mandi Morr route for passing the road in front of Al-Sadat Travels and that they had also approached the local SP and SHO in this regard but they did not move against the culprits.

On February 28, Raja Naveed said, as he reached Mandi Morr while driving his bus with 18-20 passengers on board, 30-32 armed men also including Abdul Sattar Shah, Sardar Javed, Nafees Satti, Asim Satti, opened fire at the rear tyres of his bus and later put it on fire.

The police registered the case under sections 336, 341, 148, 149, and 337-H (II) of the PPC.    

According to the police, they were busy in investigation. They said CDA and ICT administration is also to be consulted before deciding the matter on merit as they were in a better position on the issue of fee collection. No arrests have been made so far, according to the police.