SRINAGAR: Seven persons including two women were injured in police action on Thursday when they tried to block roads against the demolition drive of government.
A small community living on the banks of river Jhelum in Rampora area of Srinagar staged protests and blocked roads in Qamarwari alleging Srinagar Municipal Corporation of demolishing their houses “without any valid reason.”
They said as their houses were bulldozed by the government there was no effort over rehabilitating them or proving them any plots so that they could build new houses.
As the aggrieved locals took to streets, chanting anti- government slogans, police used batons to disperse them injuring seven.
Eyewitnesses said that one person namely Javaid Ahmad Khanday has received critical injuries. They said he was hit by a pellet.
Protestors accused that in the demolition drive, 85 structures were bulldozed, leaving the residents in lurch.
The community’s president Noor Mohammad Khanday said that they were promised a proper rehabilitation by a political party in last year’s Parliamentary elections. “We voted for them en-masse but no measure was taken to end our plight,” he said.
“We have been living here on the river bank for the last 40 years and this aggressive approach by authorities was brutal and all the houses were pulled down. It is going to be very difficult for us if we are not given an alternative site to live,” said Abdul Rahman Khaday, a local.
“We are willing to leave. Our ancestors who were living in houseboats shifted to live on river banks 75 years ago. Where will we go now? Let government rehabilitate us somewhere with small chunks of land. If there can be a plethora of land for migrant colonies, why not some land is given us,” he added.