The population of Islamabad’s Mera Beri near Golra Sharif has recently experienced an unusual surge, increasing from a mere 300 people to an astounding 8,000 in a short period. A web of corruption within the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is to blame for this growth.
Many illegal homes sprang up in Mera Beri. A large number of these newcomers were not originally from Mera Beri. However, they bought land on the basis of stamp paper and built houses at an alarming rate.
According to reports, some CDA officials turned a blind eye to these illegal constructions, pocketing bribes ranging from Rs. 3 to 4 lakh per house.
The situation became dire when CDA initially allowed the illegal construction of these structures but later demolished some of them in an anti-encroachment drive.
Outraged citizens claim that this double-dealing is clear proof that CDA officials are profiting from both approvals and demolitions.
Amidst this, a minority community found a foothold, setting down roots and even constructing places of worship.
Tensions reached a boiling point when violent confrontations arose between the CDA personnel, Islamabad Police, and angry protestors, resulting in 20 injuries, including 9 police officers.
In an attempt to address the public outcry, newly-appointed Chairman CDA, Captain (Retd) Anwar ul Haq, has requested a comprehensive report on the Mera Beri operation.
He noted that disciplinary action has been taken against the officers involved, assuring that the affected residents will receive appropriate compensation and rehabilitation assistance.
Six people are facing serious charges, including anti-terrorism, attempted murder, and destruction of government property, in connection with a recent confrontation in which government officials were shot at and their vehicles vandalized. Inspector Tahir Niazi, a key investigator in the case, was among the injured.