CPEC route: Protesters demand payment of compensation

Police round up several protesters to break up the demo


Zubair Ayub September 16, 2018
PHOTO:REUTERS

ABBOTTABAD: In what appeared to be a peaceful protest by local residents expressing their grievances for not having been compensated for their land acquired by CPEC and NHA the situation turned ugly when police resorted to unwarranted baton charge on the unarmed protestors.

Even women were not spared and police arrested a large number of protestors who were sent to lock up.

It was reliably learnt that police have charged them on some sections of the anti terrorism act along with sections of creating hurdles against government work.

Efforts were being made to ascertain the details of the sections cited for cause of arrest, however, officials of Cantt police station and City police station declined to disclose details of the arrest.

Abbottabad DPO could be contacted on his cell phone by this scribe.

It should be noted that NHA and district administration has forcefully acquired land and houses from local residents of village Thanda Mera, Salhad and Jabrian area but they have not been not paid land compensation as per market rates and it was alleged by the protestors especially females and elderly women that market price of the land is at least ten times higher and they are being paid a pittance which is just peanuts and not enough to acquire new land let alone construct a house on it.

It is not even enough to make a down payment of two months rent of a small kuthca house.

They said that they are not against CPEC but it will be hard for them to get sufficient amount for their sacrifices as their house and land falls on the main CPEC route which connects the main KKH and Pak China Corridor with entire country.

They further charged that due to protest and resistance by the local people who all are complaining about the high-handed and negative attitude of the district administration and police, work remained suspended for more than three months.

Now, resolving their problems, work on the project has resumed.

The people are being deprived of their only inherited wealth, while some had acquired land and had constructed houses after spending their entire life savings have now been rendered homeless.

The families with children are holding rallies daily and are threatening self immolation with entire family against the excesses of NHA, district administration and police.

At village Salhad and its surrounding areas residents have threatened mass suicide if they are not paid the adequate compensation

Affectees have demanded from Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, Prime Minister Imran Khan for their kind intervention to provide them justice.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2018.

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