Destructive fires broke out in different areas of Balochistan’s district Panjgur and destroyed millions worth of date harvest in a day. The owners of the date orchards have now demanded an inquiry into the incident.
According to reports, date orchards in the Gurmakan, Khudabadan and Tusp areas of Panjgur were engulfed in fire on Wednesday. The plantation was burnt to ashes and millions worth of harvest was incinerated in a matter of a few hours. With the combined efforts of the local municipal committee, the district officials and the locals, the fires were contained and extinguished, but by that time the damage was done.
The locals say that Wednesday’s fire was an act of arson. They say that the date orchards are at a 2 to 3 km distance from each other. It is highly unlikely that a spontaneous fire broke out at the three orchards at the same time – this was a well-organized act of arson, they say.
The locals said that the date orchards of Panjgur produce some of the finest kinds of dates in the local and national markets. The fire has caused millions of damages to the owners who deliberately and meticulously look after the date plants for an entire year.
The locals suspect that the government officials might be behind Wednesday’s fire. They claim that the government has damaged date orchards in the past to free the land and use it for gravel and sand extraction, which is then shipped to other areas and used for construction purposes.
The orchard owners have demanded a thorough investigation of Wednesday’s fire, saying that the officials must find and prosecute the perpetrators and expiate the owners.