Minor attempts suicide against LAWDA demolition

SRINAGAR: A minor boy of Ashai Bagh locality in Nigeen area Monday attempted suicide by setting himself ablaze after LAWDA’s demolition squads arrived there to demolish their homes.

Eye witnesses said that the 15-year old received severe burn injuries and was shifted to JLNM, Rainawari hospital where from authorities referred him to SKIMS.

As the LAWDA authorities reached the areas to begin demolition of houses along Saida Kadal- Ashai Bagh stretch, the dwellers came out of theirt houses to resist the action. 

Many of the residents, anticipating the demolition  drive, came out donning shrouds and were carrying banners amid intense sloganeering against ‘LAWDA .

The protesters accused LAWDA of being selective in its approach.  “If the authorities are serious in removing the buildings coming under notified areas then they should demolish the VC office, Centarur Hotel, SKICC and numerous  hotels owned by rich and influential people,” angry protesters said.

“We have been forced to take to streets as the LAWDA authorities are harrasing us regularly particularly after floods,” they said.

They said that even the government has failed to rehabilitate the Dal dwellers from past several years. “The authorities are claiming that they will rehabilitate us but on ground they are doing nothing in this regard, which exposes the tall claims of successive regimes,” they said, adding that due to the ‘deplorable’ attitude of authorities, almost 35000 Dal dwellers have been forced to come on roads.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between angry youth and riot police which was accompanying the demolition squads. Police resorted to tear smoke shells and lathi charge to disperse the protesters.

A top police official while talking to KNS said that as soon as the LAWDA officials started demolishing the buildings of Dal dwellers, couple of angry youth set ablaze themselves. “The youth were shifted to the hospital at earliest and the situation in the area is peaceful,” he said.

Accpording to Vice-Chairman (VC), LAWDA, Sarmad Hafeez some dwellers have raised buildings in the prohibited areas due to which they started demolition drive in the area. “We have been ordered to demolish the buildings constructed within the prohibited areas but some miscreants resist the officials for conducting the process,” he said.

“We have been continuously pleading before people not to raise buildings within the prohibited areas but they don’t pay heed to it. We have already lodged several FIRs against the persons involved in it and have seized several material loaded vehicles in this regard,” Hafeez said.

When asked about the constructed buildings within the prohibited areas in past, Hafeez said, “I don’t know what has happened in the past but I am answerable about my time and I won’t allow anyone to raise the building within the prohibited area,” he said. (KNS)

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