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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has halted its anti-encroachment operation in sector D-11 that was launched to retrieve state land following clashes between locals and the civic body enforcement staff and police personnel.

A senior official told Business Recorder that on September 18, the authority’s Directorate of Enforcement launched an operation with the assistance of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and Islamabad Police against illegal constructions at sector D-11’s Chauntra village on acquired state land.

During the operation, law enforcement personnel faced stiff resistance from local villagers who claimed ownership of the land and refused to vacate the area.

The official further contended that police resorted to baton-charge and teargas shelling when locals pelted stones at them and continued resisting the operation. As a result of clashes, nine police personnel and three locals were injured.

Chauntra village is located in an area where military installations are planned to be constructed, and the land of this village was allotted to the Ministry of Defence in 2004.

Clashes between police and locals continued for hours, said a CDA official, adding that later a large number of villagers marched towards F-9 Park to stage a protest but they called it off after negotiations with the district administration.

According to a statement issued by CDA during the operation, the qabza mafia opened fire and pelted stones at officers and officials of CDA and Islamabad. When the CDA’s enforcement staff began to clear the area the land grabbers began firing.

Before launching the operation negotiations were also held with the genuine affectees of the area to demolish the houses constructed after 2004. After negotiations, the operation began, and the encroachers took the law into their own hands and opened fire under the guise of genuine affectees.

It further stated that the land award of Chauntra village was announced in 1969. Rehabilitation benefits and compensations have been paid to affectees in lieu of acquired land. According to the 1985 Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) map, there were a total of 30 houses.

In 2004, when this land was handed over by the CDA to the concerned department for further use, there were 342 houses.

At present there are nearly 15 to 20 families who are local and genuine affectees, it maintains, adding that the remaining 80 percent are non-locals or those who have either purchased CDA-acquired land through stamp papers or are living on rent in houses built by local people.

The city police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the people involved in pelting stones at police and begun raids to arrest those involved in attacking law enforcement personnel.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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