Railways land: Protesters interrupt demolition by detaining engineer

Case registered against 100 for abduction and assault.


Our Correspondent February 22, 2012

LAHORE:


Protesters occupied the Railways Loco Shed and detained the divisional engineer after officials began tearing down seven restaurants and houses built illegally on Pakistan Railways (PR) land on Wednesday, said police and PR officials.


Railways Station House Officer (SHO) Pervaiz Akhtar said that around 100 protesters began throwing stones as PR land, engineering, police and other officials began an operation to raze the illegal buildings.

Three Railways Police personnel  ASI Khurram Safeer and Constables Qayyum and Zulfiqar – were injured and taken to Railways Karen Hospital for treatment, the SHO said.

He said that a group of protesters detained Divisional Engineer Usman Abdullah in a room.

The police baton-charged the protesters and rescued the engineer. He said that the protestors stole Abdullah’s mobile phone. The operation had to be halted midway.

In the afternoon, Mughalpura police registered an FIR on Abdullah’s application against more than 100 protesters under Sections 353 (assault to deter a public servant from doing their duty), 382 (theft), 365 (abduction), 186 (obstructing public officials from their duty), 148 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Malik Imran and Malik Nadeem were nominated as accused in the FIR while the rest were unidentified. Investigation Officer Altaf Ahmad said that no arrests had been made as of Wednesday evening, though a source in Railways Police said that Imran and Nadeem were in police custody.

Those affected by the operation to tear down the buildings burnt tyres at the site in protest.

They told reporters that they had not been given any advance warning of the operation, though Station House Officer Akhtar claimed that the operation had been delayed by two weeks after discussions with community leaders.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2012.

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