Anti-PDA Protest Against ‘Illegal’ Demolitions In Pahalgam Spill Onto Srinagar

Mohammad Raafi

SRINAGAR

Pahalgam residents during anti-PDA protest in Press Enclave.
Pahalgam residents during anti-PDA protest in Press Enclave.

The residents of Veersren Langanbal area of Pahalgam Monday held protest demonstration against the CEO Pahalgam Development Authority, Reyaz Ahmad Wani, for illegally demolishing their houses.

The residents carried banners and sat on a protest in press enclave Srinagar.

A resident Abid Hussain, whose house was demolished by the PDA, said, “The CEO has been demanding Rs 50,000 from us through his acquaintance, Bilal Murtaza. But we didn’t pay him since we hold all the legal documents of our house.”

Abid said that the said CEO was transferred in October last year on corruption charges. However he was later transferred back as CEO PDA in May this year.

“Soon after he took the charge, he started harassing us.”

The Langanbal area, on the banks of river Lider, was taken under the jurisdiction of PDA this year. The residents said that their houses were demolished soon after the present CEO took charge of PDA. “He would send us his acquaintances every other week to pay Rs 50,000. He made our lives hell now by demolishing our house. We have nowhere to go,” said an elderly lady

The protesting residents carried all the legal documents of their residential houses and the court orders (copies of which lay with Kashmir Life), wherein the court has directed the police station concerned to lodge an FIR against PDA.

However, the residents alleged that despite of the court directions, no FIR has been registered against the said official.

SHO Pahalgam,Tariq Ahmad while talking to KL said that they had received directions from the local court to register a case against PDA. “The residents had approached Police station and we had taken the matter to court. Court directed us to register a case against PDA.”

Asked if the case has been registered against PDA, he said, “We have registered a case against PDA and we are investigating the matter.”

CEO PDA, Reyaz Ahmad Wani did not respond to the repeated calls from KL.

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