Hunza violence: Rioters cause damages worth Rs200m to G-B government

Following a clash between the police and protestors, govt buildings were set on fire.

Shabbir Mir August 17, 2011


The recent violence in Hunza following the killing of two men by police has cost the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government Rs200 million.

“The estimate losses stands around Rs200 million,” official sources in Hunza said, while officials in the district administration declined to comment on the matter.

The Aliabad Police Station was torched by a mob; the damage is estimated to be Rs6.5 million. Other buildings damaged in the riots are Deputy Commissioner House (Rs7 million) Rest House (Rs1.3 million), DC Office (Rs0.6 million) and a police check post (Rs1.3 million).

“The building and roads department had conducted the assessment and submitted to it to the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government for the release of the money,” he said.

A clash between the police and protestors demanding compensation for losses inflicted by the Attabad Lake disaster in 2010 resulted in the death of a man and his son in Hunza on Thursday. In the ensuing riots, the charged mob set several government buildings on fire.

Hunza-Nagar Assistant Commissioner Momin Jan said that section 144 — which bans the assembly of more than four men — has been imposed in the town to keep the situation under control.

“[The restriction] has been imposed for 60 days to keep things under control,” he said, adding that the government is in contact with local elders to discuss a solution to issues concerning law and order in the region once known for its serenity.

Meanwhile, the government in Hunza has prepared a list of people who were involved in ransacking and torching government property in the riots.  “The local administration is negotiating with local elders for the arrest of these people,” said sources privy to the development. They said that a proposal of setting up of at least four police check posts in the restive parts of Hunza Valley is under consideration.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.