PESHAWAR: With a crackdown underway against parents and clerics agitating against polio vaccination, an Afghan clergyman who openly preached against such vaccinations in Telaband village, has reportedly fled to Afghanistan.
Talking to The Express Tribune, residents of Telaband said that Maulvi Kifayatullah, a prayer leader at a local mosque who openly opposed anti-polio vaccination in the local community, escaped after an FIR was registered against him. The police too had raided his mosque several times, but he had fled by then.
While the cleric escaped, two others were arrested. They have been detained for the past 10 days.
Read: K-P police arrests 471 parents for refusing polio vaccine
Afghan clergymen along with some local prayer leaders are at the forefront of opposing polio vaccination in some areas. This had prompted the government to start registering cases against those who remained opposed to vaccinating children.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a police official said there would be more arrests if reports were registered against parents and others in this regard.
Read: Arrest warrants issued over refusal of polio vaccination: K-P police
Taliban militants claim that the vaccination drive is a cover for espionage activities and or a conspiracy to 'sterilise Muslims.'
Attacks on vaccinators too increased after Pakistani doctor Dr Shakeel Afridi was found to be working for the CIA to set up a fake hepatitis immunisation drive as part of efforts to track down al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.