‘Bahria Town Personnel Terrorising Malir Villagers By Forcibly Taking Over Land’
Addressing a press conference, members of the Karachi Bachao Tehreek have said that the Bahria Town administration forcibly took over land in Haji Ali Muhammad Goth in district Malir, using bulldozers and excavators. Hafeez Baloch, a resident of the village, stated that on last Friday, three men who claimed to be members of Bahria Town Karachi Limited (BTKL), accompanied by police officers, forcibly entered Haji Ali Mohammad Goth in Deh Langeji, district Malir.
When the residents resisted, they brought excavators and bulldozers and proceeded to take the land by force. The Bahira Town personnel further threatened that similar actions had been taken in other villages that had resisted them, he said.
According to the activists, the Bahria Town personnel entered the village without the resident’s permission or court order which makes them liable for several crimes under the Pakistan Penal Code including trespass, assault, and criminal intimidation. Addressing the conference, activist Laila Raza stated that forceful occupation and intimidation has been a tactic of Bahria Town for a long time now. “This same village was terrorized by Bahira town personnel last year as well, when they marked homes and threatened to build a road in that area,” she claimed.
Furthermore, in 2016 Bahira Town members demolished the village’s local graveyard, destroyed poultry farms, and cut off the resident’s access to drinking water, states Laila Raza. She claims that the police have been involved in this crime as well because the residents of the village have been constantly threatened and assaulted by policemen who have filed false criminal charges against them. Adding on to these statements, Abeera Ashfaq said that Bahira Town has tormented these villagers for years. “Various international and national laws have been violated by Bahria Town including peoples’ first right to determine land use, women’s rights, environment, wildlife, and heritage and antiquities,” she said.