Zerok police chief accused of extortion, deforestation

Monitoring Desk

SHARAN: Some residents have accused a district police chief in southeastern Paktika on extorting of extortion and felling forest trees in violation of an agreement — a claim rejected by the police chief.

Raz Mohammad, a tribal elder, told reporters in the provincial capital that the Zerok police head brazenly violated an agreement among local tribes by cutting trees and selling them in the market.

Common people carrying food items and other stuff were fleeced by the district police chief on their way back home, he claimed. “On five-kilogram of cooking oil, he charges 100 afghanis and 200 afghanis on on bag of rice.”

Sarfaraz, another resident of Zerok, also blamed the police official of involvement in corruption. “If this police officer is not transferred immediately, we will sever all links with the government,” he warned.

Sarfaraz said the Taliban forcibly collected Ushr from people on pine nut yield on the one hand and the district police chief pressurised farmers to give him his part on the other.

Haji Zafar, an inhabitant and former commander, said he had complained to provincial officials against the district police chief, but no one heeded him.

“We have run out of patience, but provincial officials don’t transfer him because they also have a share in his income.”

But the police officer, 2nd Lt. Sheikh Menak, told Pajhwok Afghan News the allegations leveled against him were untrue. “Most of the people complaining are land grabbers, powerful individuals and have illegal arms. I have prevented them from illegal activities.”

The provincial police head, Brig. Gen. Rogh Leiwani, said Menak a played vital role in improving the security of Zerok district. He asked residents to provide evidence for action against Menak. (Pajhwok)