A minor boy of Ashai Bagh, Dargah Monday attempted suicide by setting ablaze himself against LAWDA’s demolition drive in the area. Eye witnesses told KNS that the 15-year received severe burn injuries and was shifted to JLNM, Rainawari hospital where authorities referred him to SKIMS. As the LAWDA authorities reached in the areas of Saida Kadal and Ashai Bagh, the dwellers held protest demonstrations against the demolition drive in the areas which according to the authority have been illegally constructed. The protesters wearing white cloths resembling shrouds were carrying banners and were chanting slogans like ‘LAWDA hai hai’. The protesters while speaking to KNS said that the authorities are unnecessary torturing them by one way or another. “If the authorities are serious to demolish the buildings coming under notified areas then they should demolish the VC office, Santoor Hotel and several other prominent buildings which are also under notified area,” angry protesters said. In the wee hours of Monday morning, the residents took to streets and blocked main road of the area. “We have been forced to take to streets as the LAWDA authorities are unnecessary leaves us to suffer,” they said. They said that even the government has failed to rehabilitate the Dal dwellers from past several years. “The authorities are claiming to rehabilitate us but on ground they are doing nothing in this regard, which exposes the tall claims of successive regimes over rehabilitating us,” they said, adding that due to the ‘deplorable’ attitude of authorities, almost 35000 Dal dwellers will come on roads. Meanwhile, clashes erupted between angry youth and forces. Police resorted to tear smoke shells to disperse the protest. 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. Vice-Chairman (VC), LAWDA, Sarmad Hafeez told KNS that 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 over 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 during time and I won’t allow anyone to raise the building within the prohibited area,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch