PESHAWAR: Mattani village, long haunted by harsh Taliban rule, is now facing police fury for violating one puritanical religious precept advocated by Taliban militia – complete ban on music during marriage ceremonies.
For years people in the village, which is in Peshawar’s suburbs, were prohibited to play music during marriage ceremonies. Taliban militants ensured complete compliance with a dose of strict punishments.
But now, police have effectively replaced strict Taliban enforcers.
Houses are raided and anyone who violates this rule is now promptly arrested and locked up in police station.
A local villager, Abdul Qadir, told The Express Tribune that police not only raided houses, but also beat up people and insulted them without any valid cause or provocation.
“This (situation) has created widespread unrest among the local people,” he asserted.
“The entire area was in the grip of constant fear when Taliban held sway over the area … They (Taliban) had banned music as well as (ordered closure of all) music centers and CD houses … Taliban are now long gone but now we suffer at the hands of police personnel who are enforcing the same rule applied by Taliban,” he maintained.
According to him, this was being done at the behest of certain elements, who had allegedly told police to stop the use of music as it was un-Islamic … Police are now busy arresting people in the village to appease these people.”
He said that on Saturday night, police raided a musical function, arrested all participants and put them in the lock-up.
“They were insulted for playing music and (inviting) a transgender troupe to dance,” he said.
Police had no qualms about turning the happy occasion of marriage ceremony into mourning by putting everyone behind bars.
According to a police official, the local SP had ordered to impose the ban on all musical functions, even the ones held to mark marriages.
Some local elders in Sheikhan village, also in Peshawar suburbs, had also banned musical function in their area last year. The elders contended that such activities were “unhealthy” for the younger generation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2017.