Local resistance mars govt’s land acquisition initiative

ISLAMABAD-City managers encountered strong resistance from residents while forcibly acquiring government-acquired land in Sector E-10. As a result, several locals and law enforcement personnel sustained injuries during the operation.
There are reports of injuries to both private individuals and policemen during this clash. The Capital Development Authority’s enforcement teams, under the magisterial cover of the district administration and assisted by the Islamabad police, entered the village of Sinari located at the foothills of Margalla in Islamabad, where the Defense Complex Islamabad, commonly known as the new GHQ, is under construction.
Locals claimed that a similar operation last week resulted in city authorities demolishing about a dozen houses. Following their protest, it was promised that no further operations would be carried out until all pending benefits on the part of the CDA were cleared. According to CDA records, the area was acquired decades ago, and a large number of landlords were compensated for their lands and houses. However, some commitments by the civic authority remain unfulfilled.
Locals claim that the authorities did not honour their commitments and launched another operation in the village, demolishing eight more houses in an attempt to vacate the area by force. This prompted the locals to protest and resist the operation. Eyewitnesses reported that the villagers not only confronted the enforcement teams but also threw stones at them. The police responded by firing tear gas shells. Footage shows that a couple of locals were injured during this clash, but villagers claimed that the police had opened direct fire on the protesters, injuring three people.
Former MNA and Senior Leader of Jamat-e-Islami, Mian Muhammad Aslam, arrived at the site to show solidarity with the locals who were protesting at E-11 Chowk. He condemned the behaviour of the CDA and demanded that all legitimate claims of the locals be addressed before taking possession of their ancestral lands. “We stand with the villagers until the CDA fulfils their rights,” he announced, adding, “Forcibly taking possession in violation of a public promise made last week is unjust and condemnable.”
Meanwhile, protestors chanted slogans against Chairman CDA and Assistant Commissioner Mr. Abdullah. The Nation attempted to obtain a statement from CDA’s spokesperson, Syed Safdar Shah, regarding the incident, but he was unavailable for comment.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt