Three injured in clashes as authorities begin eviction drive in Islamabad

Published: July 30, 2015
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Capital Development Authority (CDA) workers demolish a poverty-stricken neighbourhood where Afghan refugees and Pakistani tribal people live in Islamabad on July 30, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Capital Development Authority (CDA) workers demolish a poverty-stricken neighbourhood where Afghan refugees and Pakistani tribal people live in Islamabad on July 30, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Capital Development Authority (CDA) workers demolish a poverty-stricken neighbourhood where Afghan refugees and Pakistani tribal people live in Islamabad on July 30, 2015. PHOTO: AFP Teams of Capital Development Authority (CDA) backed by a heavy contingent of police and security personnel began tearing down the Afghan Basti area of the national capital, with angry residents responding with protests and stone throwing. PHOTO: AFP Houses of illegal residents of Afghan Basti being demolished by Capital Development Authority. PHOTO: WASEEM NAZIR/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: An ongoing operation against illegal settlements in the I-11 sector of Islamabad turned violent when protesters clashed with police and law enforcement agencies on Thursday.

At least three people have been injured in the clash, while around a dozen protesters were reportedly arrested. A heavy contingent of the police and Rangers used baton charge and tear gas to dispel protesting residents of the Afghan basti who pelted stones at the security officials.

Read: Eviction drive in I-11: Major eviction operation at I-11 slum likely today

Two cranes, bulldozers and other heavy machinery of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) was being used in the operation to demolish the Afgan Basti, which was initiated on the directions of the interior ministry.

Protestors hurl stones at the personnel of law enforcement agencies guarding the demolition of the encroachments. PHOTO: WASEEM NAZIR/EXPRESS

Some 1,500 personnel of the LEAs dispersed most of the protestors and the demolition has once again gained pace.

In the first phase today, 250 to 300 plots, allotted to different people, were cleared from the encroachers, who had been living in the area for the last 20 to 25 years.

Not all residents are Afghan with many from Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, who workat the nearby Sabzi Mandi.

Read: I-11 settlements: Eviction drive against residents halted

On Wednesday morning, strong resistance from residents along with infighting between the capital’s civic agency and the administration resulted in postponement of the drive.

A police officer fires teargas shell at the residents protesting demolition of illegal settlements in Islamabad. PHOTO: WASEEM NAZIR/EXPRESS

However, by nightfall, a series of meetings took place between representatives of Islamabad Capital Territory administration, Capital Development Authority and the interior ministry wherein it was decided to initiate the full-fledged operation against the settlement.

Read: Slum situation: In lieu of whole settlement, CDA to accept 250 plots

Phase I of the operation has been completed and more machinery has been sought to expedite the drive.

Infant dies

A six day old child apparently died of suffocation in I-11 on Thursday.

According to an Awami Worker Party spokesperson, the child died of suffocation from tear gas as CDA officials, police and residents clashed.

The child was not taken to a hospital, with its funeral prayers being offered at a mosque in the locality.

Residents offer funeral prayers for the infant who died of suffocation. PHOTO: COURTESY AWAMI WORKERS PARTY-ISLAMABAD FACEBOOK PAGE

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Nk
    Jul 30, 2015 - 7:17PM

    While I agree that encroachments are bad, what are the people to do?? This is a failure of the state to provide for its people. You expect people that make 8000 rs a month to pay most of that in rent?

    Why not at the very least a lot them some land somewhere where they can build a mud hut for themselves.Recommend

  • Confused
    Jul 30, 2015 - 9:38PM

    State is responsible for the people of Pakistan only and not for the refugees who came here from Afghanistan. Recommend

  • Chachoo
    Jul 30, 2015 - 10:47PM

    Khana Badoosh exist around Punjab and Sindh. But these people do not occupy prime land and then build their houses. These chooses desolate places and people have no problem with them. On the other hand settlements on the Prime land that costs tens of millions of rupees is a question mark on its own. Mafia use such lands when they are given to those who live on it. If we will appreciate such practice then in the future anyone can settle anywhere and will claim that land. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 31, 2015 - 12:01AM

    They have no other place to go. It’s an inhumane act to evict them from their houses. Maybe if the govt would provide them with an alternative. Either way, it’s the state’s responsibility to provide for the people (refugees too since you have already taken them in).Recommend

  • Sfarooq
    Jul 31, 2015 - 2:59AM

    And what compensation has the government given to such people? Illegally there or not, if the government wakes up late shouldn’t mean such steps are acceptable. Where did these people sleep that night? Where will their families go? Cruelty! Jahalat on part of the government!Recommend

  • Saif
    Jul 31, 2015 - 10:37AM

    Illegal Afghan immigrants should be deported and their houses bulldozed afterwards. As for Punjabi and Pashtoon residents, they should be compensated in some way too. Bulldozing their houses and forcing them out on roads is wrong in every sense.Recommend

  • masoud
    Aug 1, 2015 - 7:33AM

    The pakistani police are the most corrupt and inhuman people you ever see
    Very shameful of these people they call them muslims and act them worse than any human beingRecommend

  • Noreen Saeed
    Aug 1, 2015 - 8:04AM

    Punjbai army should return all the $billions it earned on Pashtun blood. We will build places with that money. Recommend

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