Mufti Shakir group restarts FM transmission
LANDI KOTAL (Khyber Agency),April 5: The supporters of Mufti Munir Shakir on Monday restarted FM transmissions in Gagrina village, some 25 kilometers south from here. Mangal Bagh, a close aide of the Mufti, and hundreds of his supporters held a public meeting in Gagrina after having been expelled from Bara four days back. Gagrina residents, mostly Zakhakhel tribesmen, welcomed the activists of Lashkar-i-Islam and on their request hoisted black flags atop their houses.
The Landi Kotal political administration tried to prevent Mangal Bagh from organizing the public meeting and installing a radio station. However, soon after the public meeting, an FM radio station was installed in Gagrina.
Landi Kotal residents confirmed broadcasts from the newly installed FM radio. Sources said that in his first speech on the radio, Mangal Bagh pledged to continue his ‘mission of cleansing the area of all anti-social and terrorist elements’.
Mufti Munir Shakir had also held a public meeting in the same locality about a month ago despite the administration’s efforts to stop it.
Meanwhile, the Khyber Agency political administration has sent a jirga of tribal elders to Gagrina village to persuade Mangal Bagh to surrender to the authorities and close down his FM radio.
The administration had earlier forced Mangal Bagh to leave Bara after deploying Mehsood Scouts in the head quarters of Mufti Munir Shakir in Nala-Malikdinkhel area of Bara tehsil.
Authorities had also forcibly occupied the residence of Mangal Bagh and threatened to demolish it if he failed to surrender by April 6. Situation in Bara, however, remained peaceful as all markets, schools and government offices were opened.
Officials sources did not rule out use of force if Mangal Bagh did not surrender or close down his FM radio.