Panchkula residents block road after anti-encroachment drive

Azad Colony residents blocked the road near Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 21 here today over an anti-encroachment drive. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), which carried out the drive, removed the shops in the front of the colony and impounded their belongings.

Enraged slum residents then blocked the road, putting stones and boulders on it between Sectors 3 and 21. About 1,000 people, including women and children gathered there.

Meanwhile, police companies reached the spot and traffic was diverted. The police were ready in anti-riot gear and the stand-off continued for over one and a half hours. Panchkula Sub Divisional Magistrate Kulwant Kalsan also reached the spot and tried to pacify the slum residents. One of the leaders Abdul Mian said, “They (the HUDA employees) came without giving notice. They took away belongings from our shops( that is why we blocked the road).”

He added, “Earlier they were saying that the whole colony would be shifted to a new place. They should not trouble the poor (like this).” Kalsan told the agitators that he would speak to the HUDA authorities and ensure that they get their belongings back.

He told mediapersons, “They are complaining that no notice was given to them before the start of the anti-encroachment drive. They are angry. A solution will be found.” In the evening he said, “I have spoken to HUDA and the Deputy Commissioner in this regard. Their belongings will be returned to them.” The shops that were removed largely comprises meat vendors and junk dealers.

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