Residents of four squatter settlements staged a protest demonstration against the demolition of the settlements by Railway officials.
The protest was attended by representatives of several non-governmental organisations and rights groups. The protesters said the settlement had been set up about 50 years ago. They alleged that no warning had been issued to them before demolition.
They condemned the Railways administration for not allowing them enough time to collect their belongings. Residents said they had spent the last night in the open, with no protection for their children against the cold weather.
The settlements demolished during the crackdown on encroachments on the Railways land were Peoples Colony, Busti Mastoi, Odh Colony, and Nafees Colony. 80-year-old widow Jabeen Bibi said officials did not even allow her to take her wheat stock.
Assistant Engineer Nasir Hanif, in charge of the demolition operation, said eviction notices were issued to the residents of the squatter settlements three days before the demolition.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2011.