ISLAMABAD: The capital administration and police have denied a request from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to help remove encroachments in the capital on March 20.

Officials said separate requests were sent by the CDA member administration to the chief commissioner and inspector general of police seeking assistance, in terms of manpower, in an operation against encroachments in G-12, adjacent to Kashmir Highway.

The request stated that the CDA intends to restore acquired land along Kashmir Highway, G-12, where various structures have been built in defiance of the CDA Ordinance 1960 and encroached on the acquired row. The individuals have also illegally got direct accesses from the main Kashmir Highway.

The CDA had sought a reserve force, including magisterial cover, to prevent retaliation, resistance or any untoward incident, the request says, for an operation at 9am on March 20.

The CDA had asked that the sub-divisional police officers and station house officers of the concerned stations be available in person, with two reserves equipped with riot gear and Anti-Terrorism Squad personnel as per high court orders. Two companies of Rangers were also requested.

For magisterial cover, it said, Magistrate Ali Javed, who had been nominated by the district administration for such cover, was also requested.

However, the request was denied by both the capital administration and the IGP due to the date, with the heads of both the police and administration saying they could not provide assistance due to preparations and security ahead of the National Day Parade on March 23, officials said.

When contacted, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Aftab Akbar Durrani said the CDA had been asked to conduct the operation after March 23.

CDA spokesperson Malik Saleem said that people had encroached upon around two kilometres of land from G-12 to G-13, adjacent to Kashmir Highway, where wedding halls, hotels, markets and business centres had been constructed illegally.

He said notices were served to them to vacate the government land. In response to a question,

Mr Saleem said there was a possibility of resistance during the operation.

A police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity also said there was a chance of resistance during the operation, as intelligence gathered from the area had found that the people who had occupied the land and were running businesses from encroachment were against it.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2018

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