The Killid Group, March 3, 2014
Highway robbers rule
“For the sake of God people are being beaten and robbed every day. The robbers could even kill, but the government is not doing anything”
By Hedayatullah Hamdard
Driving between Dasht-e-Archi and Kunduz City is perilous.
Armed gangs are robbing people with impunity on the busy highway between the district and the provincial capital. Twenty-five buses were stopped on the Abdan Dasht stretch, and passengers forced to give up jewelry, money and goods.
The police have failed to make any arrests.
Wary travellers are now taking the longer way via Takhar to get to Kunduz City. The journey takes hours whereas “when we travel to Kunduz via Dasht Abdan we can get to Kunduz city within less than an hour,” says a frustrated Arbab Toorgul a resident of Dasht-e-Archi district. “We are scared the robbers will steal our goods,” he adds.
Dasht-e-Archi and Kunduz City highway. (Photo: The Killid Group)
Not only is the route via Khuja Ghar district in Takhar province longer but also passengers have to pay more money. The district of Dasht-e-Archi is about 65 km from Kunduz City while the distance via Takhar is more than 100 km.
According to Arbab Toorgul, passengers traveling by car pay only 100 Afs (1.75 USD) for the 40-minute journey through Dasht Abdan to Kunduz. The journey via Takhar takes 3 and a half hours, and costs 500 Afs (8.75 USD) per person.
“If security post were established on the route between Kunduz and Dasht-e-Archi the way would become safe and the people would not have to travel the long way to Takhar to get to Kunduz,” he says.
Tordi Murad was recently robbed of his money and goods on the road to Kunduz. He says he lost 20,000 Afs (350 USD), a watch, mobile phone and other things. “For the sake of God people are being beaten and robbed every day. The robbers could even kill, but the government is not doing anything,” he says.
According to him, 10 buses were stopped, the passengers forced to get off and looted only a few days ago in Dasht Abdan. The robbers who had all masked their faces, coolly left the scene of the crime without any fear, he adds.
Kunduz police chief Ghulam Mustafa Mohsini says two new security posts will be set up on the Dasht-e-Archi to Kunduz highway. Security is being beefed up also in view of the elections in early April.
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