Boota Masih leads Katchi Abadis protest sit in outside CDA Head office


ISLAMABAD : November 11. Hundreds of residents of Miskeen Colony G-8/4 katchi abadi held a protest sit-in outside the head office of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) against the demolition of at least 15 homes in their abadi in violation of s

Women, men and children sat outside the CDA's main gate for over 2 hours until their representatives were invited to meet with CDA officials to discuss their grievances.

Led by Boota Masih, Muhammad Iqbal and Inayat Bibi, the protestors demanded immediate compensation for those residents of the abadi whose homes have been bulldozed over the past few days, and for the abadi to be acknowledged by the CDA as legitimate and therefore viable for conferrence of proprietary rights, says a press release issued by the All-Pakistan Alliance of Katchi Abadis here Tuesday. The abadi representatives met with Deputy Director of the Katchi Abadi Cell Shafiq Ahmed as well as Encroachment official Captain Fayyaz, who assured them that further demolitions would be halted for the time being. However, the protestors were given no guarantee of permanent shelter.

Speaking outside to the protestors representatives of the All-Pakistan Alliance of Katchi Abadis condemned the eviction operations, particularly during the holy month of Ramzan. The protestors were reminded of the rights due to them under the 2001 National Policy on Katchi Abadis.

In this regard, an emergency meeting of all 36 katchi abadis in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area has been called in which representatives of katchi abadis on CDA land, Railways land and Cantonment land will gather to discuss the immediate eviction threats they are facing and chalk out a comprehensive strategy to secure ownership rights. Alliance representatives pointed out that all katchi abadi dwellers have a basic right to shelter and that their compulsion to live in katchi abadis should be understood. He said that the state had never lived up to its responsibility of providing affordable shelter to the working class and therefore katchi abadis came into being. He said that these katchi abadis exist only with the collusion of state officials who claim large amounts of money from katchi abadi dwellers, and that only when the urban plang process is radically altered can this phenomenon be addressed properly.

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