TOBA TEK SINGH

About 200 shops and stalls, built several decades ago, in Kokha Bazaar of Pirmahal grain market, were demolished during an operation by the Market committee here the other day.

Following the operation, the shopkeepers staged a protest and claimed that the shops were razed in violation of stay order issued by a local court. “They had obtained a stay order against the operation from Pirmahal judicial magistrate Naeen Faraz Anjum but the officials demolished their shops in violation of the court order,” they pointed out, adding that the demolition has caused them losses run into millions of rupees. Some of the shop owners claimed that they had purchased the shops against payments of hundreds of thousands of rupees from the previous owners some one year ago.

On the other hand, the Market Committee officials claimed that all the stalls and shops owners were illegal occupiers. “They had been issued several notices to remove their shops and stalls but they paid no attention to the notices due to which the officials have to launch the operation,” they pointed out.