Rawalpindi - The enforcement department of Rawal Municipal Corporation on Monday launched an operation against encroachments in Bara Market by removing hurdles from roads and confiscating iron grills, stalls, tables and other stuff of encroachers.

Interestingly, the vendors, who have been encroaching on roads, attacked the traders of Bara Market accusing them of lodging complaints against them with Deputy Commissioner Chaudhry Ali Randhawa and City Police Officer Capt (R) Faisal Rana in an open court that led to the anti-encroachment action.

The victim traders of Bara Market gathered at Liaquat Road and blocked the same for traffic by staging a protest demo and accusing PTI MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique of backing the encroachers in Raja Bazaar and its suburbs.

According to details, enforcement department of RMC carried out an anti-encroachment operation in Bara Market and confiscated selling stuff of scores of vendors. The operation was launched on directives of chief municipal officer in a bid to clear the busiest road for traffic and pedestrians. Soon after the anti-encroachment operation, the victim vendors and encroachers stormed the shops of traders and started scuffling with them. They also threatened the traders that they will not be allowed to run their businesses till return of their seized items by the RMC enforcement department.

“Anti-encroachment operation has been launched in Bara Market on complaints of traders they lodged with the DC in open court. If we will not be allowed running our businesses then we will also not let the traders to earn bread and butter,” said a vendor while talking to media men.

Another vendor alleged that they had hired place for setting up stalls from traders against monthly fare.

Meanwhile, the traders, on call of Bara Market General Secretary Akbar Khan, assembled on Liaquat Road and demonstrated against the vendors and encroachers for ransacking their shops after the anti-encroachment operation. The protestors blocked the road for traffic and chanted slogans against PTI MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique and the RMC officials. The protest also triggered a massive traffic jam on Iqbal Road, City Saddar Road, Ganjmandi Road, Gawalmandi Road, College Road, Liaquat Chowk and several sections of Murree Road.

Addressing the protestors, Akbar Khan condemned the attacks of vendors on traders in Bara Market. He said that PTI MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique had been supporting the encroachers across Raja Bazaar. He said that the vendors ransacked their shops on the nod of the MNA. He stressed the Prime Minister, Chief Minister Punjab and DC Rawalpindi to come forward to rescue the traders from atrocities of MNA and his men.

Sensing the sensitivity of the issue, AC City and other senior officials of the district government rushed to Liaquat Road and negotiated with the protestors. The AC ensured the protestors that prompt action will be taken against the vendors for attacking the traders after anti-encroachment operation. On this, the traders dispersed peacefully.