A number of armed Kochis in coalition with the Taliban militants have taken at least 200 livestock, including sheep and goats, belonging to locals in Hesa-e-Dowum Behsud district of Maidan Wardak province, local sources told Kabul Now, today, Tuesday, April 20.
Hussein Bakhsh, a local elder in Dopushtah village of the district, in a telephone conversation, told Kabul Now that yesterday a group of armed Kochis took at least 200 livestock belonging to locals. The armed Kochis first beat the 65-year-old shepherd and then took the livestock, according to Hussein Bakhsh.
Every year in the spring season violence erupts between the Kochis and Hazara locals in parts of Behsud districts. Local resist as the Kochis, who depend on livestock, move towards the central highland of Hazarajat aiming to feed their livestock in the pastures of eastern Hazarajat.
Over the last years, the Hazara-populated Behsud districts of Maidan Wardak saw episodes of violence erupted between the Kochi community and the local Hazaras. In 2010, a deadly clash erupted between the Hazara locals and Kochis after armed Kochis broke into pastures belonging to the Hazaras.
Khawani Sultani, a member of Maidan Wardak Provincial Council, told Kabul Now, that the Taliban militants along with the Kochis have taken sheep and goats belonging to the locals in Dopushtah village of Hesa-e-Dowum Behsud district.
A group of Kochis who were riding four motorbikes and driving a mini-truck broke into an evacuated village named Abpai that is located between the Behsud’s Hisa-e-Awal and Hisa-e-Dowum districts of Maidan Wardak, according to Sultani. He claimed that the Taliban have broken into the houses of the people in this area.
In 2014, the Hazaras of Maidan Wardak rallied their support behind a group of armed local militia, known as the Resistance Front, which was led by Abdul Ghani Alipoor.
On March 21, 2021, the Afghan Ministry of Defense deployed at least 100 bullet-proof Humvee tanks to Maidan Wardak province to crack down on Alipoor, a Hazara commander whose fighters were accused of downing a military helicopter, killing nine personnel on board. In the aftermath of the helicopter crash, the government forces launched a search operation to arrest Alipoor and his men but to no avail.
The Afghan forces left the area while top security officials promised to protect the Hazara population against Taliban attacks and Kochi outbreaks.