ProPropertyNewsLand Grabbing and Violence Plagues Margalla Hills near Taxila

Land Grabbing and Violence Plagues Margalla Hills near Taxila

ISLAMABAD: The serene Margalla Hills near Taxila has turned into a “no-go area” for locals as private housing societies, land developers, and property dealers are causing fear and panic in their pursuit of grabbing land.

Disturbing reports reveal that hired goons associated with land developers and property dealers have formed “private militias” consisting of proclaimed offenders, petty criminals, and criminal gangs to instill terror in the area.

These same elements were previously involved in land grabbing in Rawalpindi’s Saddar Bairooni area and have now shifted their operations to Margalla Hills.

Earlier, in an attempt to control the private guards employed by housing societies, the Rawalpindi police chief had announced a ban on private armed guards and weapons within housing schemes.

However, despite the ban, these housing schemes continue to hire unlicensed security guards.

The residents of Union Council Thatta Khalil claim that numerous real estate tycoons have established their own “armed wings” to suppress competition and intimidate locals.

They assert that Margalla Hills have essentially become a “no-go area” where the rule of law is absent, and the local police are reluctant to enter this “prohibited area” to address the deteriorating situation.

Recent armed clashes between private militias affiliated with the real estate mafia have resulted in fatalities and injuries, further exacerbating the situation.

ALSO READ  ACE Lahore Arrests Railway Land Grabber

Malik Saeed Siddiqui, a social worker, highlights that Taxila has long been considered a prime location for new housing societies, leading to small farmers being deceived into selling their lands to housing society owners.

Another resident of Pind Nowsheri alleges that the land is acquired from farmers at meager rates, while later it becomes a highly valuable asset due to government projects.

Malik Tahir Suleman, a historian specializing in Gandhara art and culture, emphasizes that Pakistan, being an agricultural economy, cannot afford to lose agricultural land.

He expressed concern over encroachments on land in Khanpur, where the renowned red-blood citrus is cultivated.

Munaza Peerzada, an NGO worker, compared the practices of housing schemes to insider trading, where developers exploit their inside knowledge of government development plans to acquire land in lucrative areas.

Malik Aftab Hussain, Vice Chairman of another NGO, noted that despite police orders prohibiting private security guards, housing societies persist in employing them for protection.

Inspector Sajjadul Hassan, a spokesperson for the district police, asserted a “zero-tolerance policy” towards private militias and land grabbing.

He instructed housing societies to engage services from registered private security companies to curb the influence of unauthorized guards.

Source: DAWN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.