In a tense confrontation on Monday, scores of individuals launched a violent attack on a joint team of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) personnel and police officers. The incident occurred as the team initiated a major operation to dismantle the infrastructure of over 26 illegal subdivisions, small residential schemes, in the Mauza Thay Panju and Mauza Jaidu areas—both part of the notified LDA City Housing project.
The attackers, who were incited by announcements made by local clerics, injured eight officials, including five policemen, during the confrontation. They also vandalized three LDA vehicles and three police buses, ultimately forcing the entire team to withdraw.
The operation had been planned for Monday morning, with the LDA team tasked with dismantling the illegal scheme’s office, roads, and other infrastructure. Initially, a few individuals offered slight resistance during the operation, but the police refrained from taking action to avoid a potential escalation of the situation.
The situation escalated when those resisting the operation falsely informed local clerics that the LDA intended to demolish a nearby religious seminary. Approximately 200 people, some armed, gathered at the site, pelting the officials with stones, using clubs, and even resorting to aerial firing. This attack left eight officials injured and resulted in significant damage to vehicles.
Despite the police advising the LDA officers to postpone the operation, leave the area, and file a case, no FIR was registered against the attackers at the time of reporting. Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa, who also serves as the LDA DG, condemned the attack and called for the registration of a case.
The incident highlights the longstanding issue of illegal subdivisions or ‘china cuttings’ in Lahore, with allegations of involvement by certain LDA officers. Efforts to combat these unlawful developments have faced resistance and violence in the past, reflecting the challenges in addressing this problem.