BOONI: People of Booni on Thursday held a protest gathering in the local bazaar against the district administration’s bid to demolish water tanks established by the locals at the community land of Qaqlasht.
The local people chanted slogans against the deputy commissioner and warned the administration against trying to declare Qaqlasht as a state land, saying Qaqalasht is a property of the people of Booni, Mulkhow and the government bid to occupy it would never be tolerated.
They said the water tanks had been set up by the locals people on a self-help basis to start settlements in the area and the district administration’s move to demolish was condemnable.
Locals told ChitralToday that an assistant commissioner along with his staff reached Qaqlasht and filled one of the tanks with soil using a bulldozer. But some youth laid before the bulldozer and stopped further action.
Later, a large number of people from Booni marched towards Qaqlasht and staged a sit-in there. They vowed to build more water tanks and would not go back and warned the district administration against trying to occupy the area by declaring it state land.
Meanwhile, a large number of police also reached the area and till filing of this report at about 6pm, the people were present at Qaqlasht.
It my be noted that the revenue department has declared all Shamilat and grazing grounds across Chitral as state land without consulting the people, creating anger among the locals. Protests have already been organized in Lower and Upper Chitral asking the government to carry out the revenue survey afresh.
A petition has also been field in Peshawar High Court (PHC) challenging the 1975 notification of the provincial government under which all barren lands and riverbeds have been declared state property.
The people of Chitral are of the view that almost 97 percent of Chitral is barren and in most areas rivers have eroded private land and turned them barren. Private lands turned barren by floods and rivers cannot be considered as state.
The people of Chitral have repeatedly asked the government to carry out the survey land in both the districts afresh and remove the reservations of the locals otherwise it would be responsible for any untoward situation.