LAHORE: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has relaxed security measures at its 15 entry-exit points and allowed nearby villagers to enter into the DHA, ostensibly because of political pressure.

Residents have expressed their concern over the security relaxation. They told Daily Times on Monday that the relaxation in security would harm the precautionary measures that the DHA had been taking to avoid several crimes that they believed were being caused by villagers coming in from nearby villages.

It was reported that the DHA administration had a tussle going on with a village over an entry-exit check at a gate for many years. In 2005, when the DHA administration wanted to close one of its gates, the villagers protested, burnt signboards and broke mirrors of various shops at the DHA.

Politician: The residents said that one of the politicians, who was also a DHA resident, had promised the villagers that after being elected he would press the DHA to open its gates for them. The residents said the politician had trice met the DHA administration during the last week and influenced the authority to open its gates for the villagers.

DHA Secretary Col (r) Amir Ayub confirmed that some politicians had met the DHA administration to discuss the issue. He said that the administration had briefed the politicians about the residents concerns over the issue. It had been decided that the administration would issue entry cards to the villagers and an entry-exit record would be maintained at the DHA gates, he added.

It has been reported that the DHA administration is facing several complaints from its residents against the villagers. The residents alleged that the villagers had been committing thefts, robberies and several other crimes in the DHA jurisdiction.

The politicians, on the other hand, have emphasised on giving equal rights to the villagers and let them enter the DHA.

Crimes: Khaliq Kokaltash, a resident of B Block, said that the villagers committed robberies, wall chalking and throw stones into the houses. Their children used to ring bells and run away, he added.

Salman Peerzada, a resident of P Block, alleged that the villager from a nearby village, Keer, were involved in committing several crimes in the DHA. He said that the residents had informed the DHA security officials about various such incidents, but no action had been taken against the villagers. Instead the DHA administration was opening the gates for the villagers, he added.

Courtesy: Daily Times