Farmers protest ‘ammunition depot’ plan

CHANGA MANGA: Scores of small landowners from the village of Wa Khara in Changa Manga have vehemently demonstrated against the forced acquisition of thousands of kanals of land by an intelligence agency.

The acquisition of land was done following a decision to construct an ammunition depot in the vicinity of the Wa Khara locality.Demonstrating landowners emotionally beat their chests and set up obstructions on Patoki Road and Wa Khara ‘Phatak Chowk’, blocking traffic from three different directions.

They also set fire to tyres, while chanting noisy slogans. Those armed with sticks placed obstacles on the passing railway line as well, with some demonstrators going so far as to lay down on the tracks therein preventing trains running from Karachi to Lahore from operating for half-an-hour.

The grievances of the demonstrators largely revolved around a recent decision to construct an ammunition depot in Wa Khara, with protestors demanding that the decision be immediately repealed, and that the depot be constructed somewhere else since the forceful acquisition of thousands of kanals of land for the project would leave scores of families homeless.

Protestors kept Patoki Road closed for approximately two-and-a-half hours, during which lines of cars piled up. The protestors also threatened that if the decision to construct an ammunition depot was not overturned, they would transform the protest into a full-fledged movement. Upon being informed, police arrived at the scene and brought the crowds under control.

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