KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of people, who extract rocks in central Diakundi province, on Thursday complained police beat, insulted and stopped them from work.
However, local officials say these people should take permission for extracting or selling rocks from the Mines and Petroleum Ministry.
Dozens of these workers gathered in front of the Provincial Council office in Neili city, the provincial capital today, and said security forces were not allowing them to work and even they were beaten and insulted.
They said extracting and selling rocks had been their source of income for years, but the Daikundi Mines and Petroleum Department ordered security forces to stop them from the business.
Gul Ahmad, one of the protestors, said, “Rock breaking is the breadwinning source for us for years, but security forces acting on the orders of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum recently created problems for our work.”
Rahmatullah, another protestor, criticized the government and said when the government could not create jobs, it should at least allow people to do something themselves.
Sayed Mohammad, another protestor, also said rock selling was their only source of income to feed their families, but police snatched it from them.
Mirza Hussain and Mohammad Ali, two workers, said security forces today morning took all their tools including drill machines and also beat them up.
However, mines department officials in Daikundi said no one would be allowed to extract rocks until permission was granted from the relevant government organ.
Hamdullah Hamid, Daikundi Mines and Petroleum Director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the workers should have permission from the relevant ministry for selling or working on rocks, otherwise the ministry would not allow them to continue the practice.
Daikundi police rejected allegations of beating the rock workers. Gul Aqa Sajjadi, Daikundi police spokesman, rejected claims that police beat workers and said, “Daikundi police are responsible to stop arbitrary activities and we did it peacefully.”