Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Friday, December 03, 2010

Tent village demolition

Three gypsy children die of cold after operation cleanup

By Tahir Rashid

RAWALPINDI: Three children of a gypsy family died of cold, as the gypsies was living in open after the Auqaf Department with the help of local police demolished their tent houses in Dhoke Kala Khan area on the alleged orders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Member National Assembly (MNA) Hanif Abbasi.

Few days earlier, MNA Hanif Abbasi inaugurated an overhead water tank at Farooq-e-Azam Road in Dhoke Kala Khan. On this occasion he saw that hundreds of gypsy families were living in tent houses on a 44-kannal piece of land owned by Auqaf Department.

Abbasi ordered the Auqaf Department to get the land vacated from the illegal occupation of gypsies who were living there for the last 40 years. The department with the help of local police conducted a cleanup operation and demolished their tent homes. As the result the poor families were forced to live under open sky in the chilly weather.

During the operation, the police allegedly subjected the gypsies to physical torture and many people including children and women were injured. When the gypsies resisted, police baton charged them, demolished their temporary homes and even did not allow them to collect their belongings.

The gypsies said the department and police conducted the operation without any notice. They said a marriage ceremony was also going on at that time, and the operation disturbed the function badly.

The gypsies alleged that due to police violence and freezing weather, a baby girl died on Wednesday, while on Thursday a boy Ali and another child also expired. All the three children were laid to rest. The gypsies staged a protest demonstration on Farooq-e-Azam Road against the operation.

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