Srinagar: The government has withdrawn police security to demolition squads of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), due to which they are facing immense problems.
Members of the demolition squad told Kashmir Reader that they are facing harassment and abuse from the violators, for the last three months, besides physical injuries after government withdrew police deployment accompanying the squad during drive demolition drives of illegal encroachments.
“There is always a risk of losing life, as violators beat us. Many members received injuries few weeks back. Earlier when police deployment was accompanying us they could not do anything as police protect us but from past three months, we are scared. Even sometimes we skip demolition drives as we fear getting attacked by violators,” a member of squad said. There are some 16 men associated with the demolition squad of LAWDA.
The employees complained that they lack even a first aid facility in the department.
“In the department, we don’t have a first aid facility. Every day we are risking our lives during duty, many times we approach higher authority for first aid but they don’t pay any heed towards our issues,” they said.
They added that the department doesn’t have a security policy for them, even as attacks on the demolition squads have increased in the last couple of years during demolition drives.
“We don’t have security from the government. The only security we had was the police force accompanying us, and that has been withdrawn. Now we are not able to check the jurisdiction as we are afraid,” they said.
A LAWDA official told Kashmir Reader, that police force has been withdrawn due to “security reasons” due to which “demolition squad are suffering” a lot.
He said the upto June they had nearly 30 armed police personnel guarding them during work.
“The violators were kept away from being a hurdle in work process but now the same problem arises again since we lack the security,” the official said.
He admitted that they have “stopped going on drives to check the illegal constructions” along Dal since June.