LAKKI MARWAT - The political administration of Frontier Region Lakki has launched a crackdown on Bettanni tribesmen on Monday after the expiry of deadline set for the safe recovery of three SPDP officials and a Levies force personnel.

Three officials of Sustainable Plains Development Programme including Jehanzeb, Kachkol Khan and Awal Khan residents of Mardan along with a Levies soldier Naser Khan were kidnapped from the Frontier Tribal Region last Wednesday night.

“The officials had gone to the tribal area to inspect the works of SPDP and set up forest nurseries there,” said official sources. They said that the political administration’s officials had held a jirga with the elders of Bettanni tribe with a clear message to get the kidnapped officials released within four days or face action.

“The tribal chiefs failed to play their role in securing the release of abducted officials within the given timeframe”, they maintained, saying that the failure of tribal elders prompted political authorities to initiate action under the collective responsibility sections of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR).

They told that over three dozen tribal chiefs were arrested besides their business centres in Tajori town were sealed. “The authorities also impounded six vehicles and also stopped the privilege of the tribesmen,” they further told.