6 held in Peshawar as locals join police raid
PESHAWAR: Taking serious notice of the activities of suspected militants in Qamardin Garhai, hundreds of villagers came out of their houses late Friday night and raided a ‘hideout’ along with heavy contingents of police and arrested six persons. The village is located on the infamous Kohat Road, located merely three kilometers south of the Peshawar Cantonment that houses sensitive installations including the official residences of the NWFP governor and chief minister.
The action was taken over reports that four suspicious vehicles had entered Qamardin Garhai late Friday night and left the village after dropping some people in a deserted area. Hundreds of villagers, armed with sophisticated weapons, gathered in a hujra (outhouse) and informed the police before the action. Police contingents also rushed to the spot and besieged a house.
The police forced occupants of the house to open the door and took all the six persons into custody. They shifted the arrested persons to special investigation unit (SIU), where it was learnt some of them hailed from Quetta.
The villagers decided to patrol the streets of the town along with police and not to allow the movement of any suspicious armed person in their area. The entire population of the village was unanimous that they would not let any anti-state or anti-social activity take place in the area.
“It was a great show of patriotism by the villagers of Qamardin Garhai, Achar, Bahader Kellay, Dora Road, Atta Muhammad Garhai, Inamabad and Bilalabad. The youths vowed not to allow any anti-state and anti–social elements in the area,” a villager told ‘The News’.
This correspondent witnessed the enthusiasm of the villagers when they moved into the hard areas in darkness despite knowing the criminals could attack them.
“There was a constant threat to the area owing to suspicious activities in the house located in Khananu plots on Atta Mohammad Garhai Road. The people had already decided to take action if any suspicious movement was noticed again and that was why hundreds of people came out of their houses when they were called by the elders,” a villager said.
The local people and police have secured the town through joint efforts. However, the authorities have to take more measures to ensure peace in the region and provide security to the population.
The administration should set up at least two police posts around Qamardin Garhai and task a police van to patrol the streets of the village at night. The chief minister and the inspector general of police (IGP) should encourage the villagers by deploying police force with patrol cars and providing weapons and ammunition if needed.
Proper security arrangements in Qamardin Garhai and other suburban areas are a must if the government is committed to stopping the spillover of militants and anti–social elements to provincial capital from Matani, Darra and other towns. Any compromise on security of the suburban areas can prove disastrous for the provincial metropolis.