The anti-encroachment drive in Katlang Bazaar turned into a brawl when district government officials and the police hauled 48 shopkeepers to the police station.
Katlang Shopkeepers Union President Iqbal Chishti and other traders blocked Katlang-Mardan Road in protest, chanting slogans blaming the government for trying to demolish their business activities.
They threatened to launch a civil disobedience movement over being deprived of their source of income.
They said the government had demolished the exterior of their shops, broken their push carts and spoiled vendors’ products.
However, Deputy Commissioner Ghulam Habib Khan was of the opinion vendors had received ample warning. The district government and police had demarcated a red line along the road a week prior to the protest, directing shopkeepers and cart vendors to remove all encroachments.
According to Ghulam Habib, when officials arrived at the scene to see if their directives had been followed and clear remaining encroachments, shopkeepers started assaulting officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2013.
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