PESHAWAR – The residents of Damil valley, district Chitral, Thursday held a protest demonstration against timber mafia here at Sher Shah Suri Road, outside Peshawar Press Club.

They demanded of the government and district authorities concerned to take strict action against corrupt officials. The protesting Chitralis led by Asmatullah, Chairman Civil Society Domail (CSD), were holding placards and banner inscribed with slogans against timber mafia and corrupt government officials backing the influential mafia. They also chanted full-throated slogans against the timber mafia and government officials.

Addressing the protestors on the occasion, Chairman CSD Mr Asmat said that certain influential people have grabbed debris of forest wood and started sale it at their own, which is against the law of the land and quite injustice with the people of the valley, he added. “Under the Protect Forest law, he said the debris of the forest is also a joint property of the locals concerned, but certain influential materialists has started considering it their own property and plunge the locals into anxiety.

“The forest debris is legally and also as per Islamic Sharia is a joint property of the locals but the timber mafia with the support of certain governmental officials has started injustices with the locals, he lamented. He also informed that earlier two times after the issue was become serious, a Jirga comprising the District Officer Revenue (DOR), District Forest Officer (DOF), and Colonel Arown had banned the auction of forest wood and its waste, but despite that the mafia openly violated it.

The DCO concerned inspite of taking stern legal action against the violators has started pressurizing the locals has spread anxiety among the locals, he said and vowed to resist any illegal and any move against the locals. He also alleged that SSDSP Drosh also backing the timber mafia and teasing the locals.

The protestors demanded of the provincial government and authorities concerned to take stern legal action against the mafia and officials supporting them, and ban sale of debris. They also demanded forthwith transfer of the alleged corrupt SSDSP from district Chitral. They warned to launch a series of protest demonstrations if the government was failed to stop the illegal auction and take stern action against the mafia.