Aggrieved residents disrupt work on Orange Line

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Children jump over iron sheets pulled down by protesters at Samanabad Morr. — White Star
Children jump over iron sheets pulled down by protesters at Samanabad Morr. — White Star

LAHORE: A good number of residents of localities around Samanabad Morr on Multan Road offered ‘funeral prayers’ for the Orange Line Metro Train project in the middle of the intersection on Wednesday.

Residents of Janak Nagar, Nawankot and Rustam Park were the first to reach the intersection around 10am to protest against non-payment of compensation for their land that they claimed was forcibly taken over by the government for the train project.

Women, children and senior citizens from Friend Colony, Bhala Stop and Mohajirabad joined in half-an-hour later. Together, they offered ‘funeral prayers’ for the project, burnt tyres, smashed iron sheets erected by the contractor on the thoroughfare and kept the intersection blocked for around three hours.

Guards employed by the contractors attempted to pacify the protesters, but to no avail. A heavy contingent of police reached the spot and started negotiations with the protesters.

Lahore Development Authority (LDA) officials and Samanabad Town Municipal Administration officers, after consulting their high-ups, announced that the matter would be settled in a couple of days.

The protesters then dispersed peacefully. However, traffic flow could not be controlled till late in the evening.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2016