BANNU: At least 22 people, including 12 police officials and 10 internally displaced persons (IDP), were injured during a scuffle between police and IDPs at a ration distribution point in Bannu on Thursday.
Speaking to media persons, Bannu Additional Superintendent (ASP) of Police Riaz Khan said over 10,000 IDPs had gathered in front of Bannu Sports Complex on Thursday to collect ration, tents and cash from the government. According to Khan, the brawl broke out when the police told the IDPs to stand in a queue so as to maintain law and order amid the large crowd. However, some of the displaced persons from North Waziristan came out from their queues and began pelting stones at police officials.
Police used tear gas and baton-charged the IDPs to control the unruly crowd. Security forces were also called in to control the situation and resolve the dispute.
According to Khan, IDPs torched the shades in front of the sports complex and refused to accept cash and ration. Over a 100 IDPs were arrested from the sports complex and taken to different police stations across the city. Cases were filed against them and further investigation into the matter is under way.
The injured, meanwhile, were shifted to nearby private clinics for medical treatment.
Earlier in June, two IDPs and a police officer were injured when a scuffle broke out at the same venue. IDPs were waiting in line to receive food rations at Bannu Sports Complex also known as Ziyad Akram Khan Durrani Sports Complex at 10am when some members of the queue began pushing and jostling others. Police tried to control the crowd and a constable was resultantly hit on the head with a brick by one of the IDPs who then ran away.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2014.