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Lahore: Johar Town villagers hold demo against LDA

DOZENS of residents of Meharpura, a village surrounded by Johar Townís H-2 Block, held a protest demonstration against the Estate Department of the Lahore Development Authority for denying their ìright of wayî on Friday.

The protestors blocked the main road of H-2 Block and raised slogans against Senior Estate Officer Rashid Irshad and inspectors Munawar and Nawaz for allegedly demanding bribe from the villagers whose land was along the main road. They were carrying placards, urging the chief minister and the LDA DG to visit the locality and resolve the issue.

Talking to The News, the protestors said their village was established 50-55 years back and when Johar Town was established, the LDA declared the village a new abadi. They said after development of the land, the LDA constructed a road around the village and residents started using the road too and, with the passage of time, constructed homes and commercial markets too. They said all the construction was made away from the green belt of the road and villagers were using the green belt to reach their homes and shops as there was no other option. They alleged that the officials of the Estate department, especially Munawar and Nawaz, used to visit the locality on a regular basis, threatening them that the LDA would demolish their property because they were using its green belt as a way.

Mumtaz Ali, a protestor, said Munawar and Nawaz came to him on Thursday and asked him to pay Rs5,00,000 to save his shops from begin demolished, which, they claimed, were being constructed in the LDAís area. He said he showed all the documents to both the inspectors and gave them certified copies of the documents on which they left the scene. He said he also gave them the copy of a stay order as well.

Mumtaz claimed that on Thursday night, Senior Estate Officer Rashid Irshad along with some policemen and the LDA officials, including Munawar and Nawaz, came to the village and started demolishing his shops. Mumtaz said when he showed the stay order, Rashid Irshad said he was ready to face the contempt of court. He further claimed that Rashid asked him to come to his office on Friday to ësettleí the issue. The protestors said they had also brought the issue in the notice of Haji Amjad, Naib Nazim UC-120, MPA Rana Mubashar and MNA Malik Afzal Khokhar. They said they would continue staging protest demonstrations outside the Lahore Press Club, outside the office of the LDA director general, the Governorís House and Chief Ministerís House if the said LDA officials of the Estate Management wing were not punished.

The News tried to contact Senior Estate Officer Rashid Irshad (0300-4217195), Inspector Nawaz (0322-4777343) and Inspector Munawar (0334-4767989) but they did not attend the call. Later, the scribe sent SMS to the officers regarding the issue and asked them to reply back and give their version but till our going to press none of them bothered to call back.

Source: The News

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