As the first Polio eradication campaign of 2021 kicked off on January 11, a policeman escorting a team of polio workers was gunned down by unknown assailants in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday while a Levy officer was wounded in an attack on another Polio team in Upper Dir.
According to the police unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on the Polio Team that led to the martyrdom a cop escorting the Polio vaccinators in order to provide them security.
However, members of the Polio team remained unhurt in the assault.
The polio immunization drive has been stopped after the attack. The martyred police constable was identified as Junaidullah, a resident of Manki and belonged to the Frontier Reserve Police.
Officials said a search operation has been launched in the area where the incident occurred to arrest the culprits who remained at large till the filling of this report.
Separately, a Levies officer was injured in an attack on the security team of polio workers in a village near Sheringal, an administrative unit of Upper Dir district the same day. A resident of Kando attacked the security team providing cover to the Polio vaccinators with sticks and stones during an anti-polio campaign. Reports said the accused were arrested on the spot and handed over to Sheringal police.
Inspector General of KP Police Sanaullah Abbasi, taking notice of the incident, said the policeman’s killers will be arrested soon. He said security was being provided to polio workers and resolved that they would soon make KP a polio-free province.
The national polio immunization drive that kicked off on January 11, will last for five days and aims to vaccinate over 40 million children under the age of five across Pakistan. A supplementary dose of Vitamin A drops will also be administered to children aged 6 to 59 months.
In fact, it was after a relative pause of few months when the terrorist again swung into action against the Polio eradication campaign.
It may be recalled that the Polio teams administering Polio drops, mostly comprise of the female health volunteers and have been under terrorist’s attacks for the last many years in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Dozens of polio workers, mostly female,
were killed and many others sustained serious injuries in the assaults against the Polio workers which had not only sent a wave of terror, anxiety and harassment among the Polio staff in the country but had also attracted the serious concern of the international community.