Wardak residents demand justice

KABUL (Agencies): A number of families of victims of last week’s clashes in the Hisa-i-Awal Bihsud district of Maidan Wardak province have called on the government to investigate the incident and ensure the guilty parties are prosecuted and justice is served.

Clashes broke out last week after a group of people staged a demonstration outside the district government compound. At least 12 people died and 25 others were wounded after the protest turned violent, sources said. However, a number of MPs from Wardak province claimed the protestors were targeted by police special forces despite being unarmed.

The Interior Ministry however rejected these claims and said irresponsible gunmen opened fire on police and civilians in the district. The family of Ali Shujaee, one of the victims who was killed in chaos, says that Ali was a poor farmer and the only breadwinner of his 10-member family.

Ali’s wife Fatima stated that she lost her “only breadwinner. They martyred my husband and left my five children – three sons and two daughters – in uncertainty. I want the government to prosecute the perpetrators.” “My brother was shot dead. He was shot in the head and one of his legs was cut. Where should we raise our voice? We want justice,” Zainab Shujaee, Ali’s sister said.

Ali’s mother Basgul Shujaee stated: “I want the government to stop this bloodshed. We want peace.” Meanwhile, a delegation dispatched to Bihsud says that a thorough investigation has been started and that the incident will be probed “neutrally”. “The government is committed to bringing to justice whoever the main culprit is,” said Mohammad Ayub Salangi, the deputy head of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance for finance and administration.