Three people were injured and three arrested during an operation against encroachments in Block-10 of Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar Thursday. The protesters also torched a police vehicle during the operation launched by the Karachi Development Authority with the help of police.
The locality is commonly known as Chishti Nagar, where around 650 KDA plots of different categories were encroached upon by a land mafia and the area residents.
In the mid-1990s, KDA auctioned 30-acre government land in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block-10.
Close to the auctioned land, there was around 10-acre land of the Sindh Board of Revenue which was leased by the Sindh government under the Goth Abad Scheme.
Hundreds of families have been living in Chishti Nagar for the last 30 years. With the passage of time, they have encroached upon the KDA land under patronization of local land grabbers.
In the 90’s, the said area used to be sparsely populated. The allottees did not visit the site despite getting orders of the allotment of plots from the KDA.
Land grabbers and residents of the area took advantage of the situation. They encroached upon the plots allotted by the KDA and even some constructed houses.
The allottees approached the Sindh High Court and it ruled in their favour. However, the opponent parties appealed the verdict in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
But the apex court also rejected their plea. It directed KDA authorities remove all encroachments and provide the allottees the possession of their plots.
In compliance with court orders, a KDA team along with the police made its first attempt to clear encroachments on November 19. But it failed because of resistance from the area residents.
KDA officials then wrote a letter to the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh and police high-ups seeking security during the anti-encroachment drive in the Chishti Nagar area.
On Thursday, the KDA estate and enforcement team reached the Gulistan-e-Jauhar police station to get police support. However, it took them nearly five hours to get a police contingent assigned to them.
Upon reaching Chishti Nagar at around 4pm, the KDA team received the same response from the residents. They pelted stones at KDA officials and torched a police vehicle.
The police resorted to aerial firing and tear-gassed the protestors in an attempt to disperse them.
KDA officials could recover only two plots during the entire operation on Thursday. Three protestors were injured during the clashes and three were arrested by the police.
The protesting residents say they have been living on this land for the last 30 years. They claim to have lease documents of the Sindh Katchi Abadi Authority.
The KDA allottees are of the view that they purchased these plots from the KDA and paid proper challans against them. They say their plots are also included in the master plan of the city as they were carved out of the land auctioned by the KDA.
However, the operation against encroachments was called off Thursday night. It will be launched again on December 3, according to KDA authorities.