Leaders of the Peoples Lawyers Forum and Peoples Students Federation have sought action against manufacturing of counterfeit cigarettes and bootlegging in Muzaffarabad, while giving a three-week deadline to the local administration to initiate action against the culprits. Addressing a press conference here, President Peoples Lawyers Forum advocate Syed Ali Raza pointed out that a cigarette company is involved in manufacturing and selling of the low-quality cigarettes in the area. Raza said that he along with his supporters would stage a sit-in in front of the offices of deputy commissioners and senior superintendent of police if action is not taken against the factory owners within three weeks. He also urged the relevant government departments including administration and revenue to keep a check on the factory. The young lawyer said that cigarettes of different companies are being manufactured in the factory and sold in the open market, without a check and balance from the local administration. He pointed out that raw material for the cigarettes is not available in Muzaffarabad and that is brought from different areas of Pakistan, and then finished products are sold again within the country. The state institutions should look into tax records of the factory, he said, adding that drugs and arms were also being sold in the area under the guise of the cigarettes’ business. Raza said that non-state actors are using the company to get their black money white, and locals would also feel threatened by daily firings and parties of influential in the factory area. He said that it is a common knowledge in the area that local police and administration are getting extortion money from the factory owner to protect his illegal business. The deputy commissioner should investigate the matter and initiate action against all those police officials involved in the crime, he said, adding that the mafia used to give impression in the area that anyone who would dare to speak against them, would be picked up.