Islamabad - Backpedalling from its early stance, the high-ups at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) under the garb of goodwill gesture have withdrawn a criminal case registered against the management and traders of Farooqia Market for their resistance against an operation cleanup conducted some weeks back, surprising the officials of enforcement directorate who face the brunt of the anti-encroachment operation.

The encroachers, in most of the cases, put up resistance whenever the teams of enforcement directorate start operation to retrieve CDA land. The officials of the directorate have to bear the brunt of the ‘retaliation’ by the encroachers. Even the officials were booked sometimes by the local police on the complaints of the encroachers for what the latter called unlawful action. In this case, the FIR was lodged against the office-bearers of Farooqia Market Traders’ Union for manhandling the officials and staff and interfering in the duty of officials as the teams reached there to carryout anti-encroachment operation. Traders’ representatives who were booked in the case included one Khalid, his son and others.

Following the registration of FIR, the office-bearers of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry also visited the office of the chairman CDA so as to resolve the matter amicably, sources in the CDA said. They said the traders pressurised the CDA management to the extent that despite recommendation of the lower staff for obtaining a written apology from the traders, the top management decided to withdraw the FIR in the name of goodwill gesture.

The representatives including those nominated in the FIR admitted their fault, personally excused and requested for withdrawal of the FIR. Islamabad traders representatives including Ajmal Baloch, Ijaz Abbasi and Sarfaraz Mughal were also present on the occasion. However, the officials of enforcement directorate were of the view that a written apology/affidavit may be obtained from the accused, clearly stating therein unconditional apology and promising that they will never hinder any official business under any circumstances in future and in case of such recurrence, the authority shall initiate criminal proceedings with much thrust and force to maintain writ of the law. They told their bosses in writing that the above apprehensions may kindly be conveyed to the mediators to get the matter resolved. However, the top office at the enforcement directorate recommended that the FIR may be withdrawn ‘in best interest of preserving goodwill,’ leaving the officials of enforcement directorate nowhere.

On condition of anonymity, they told this scribe that they were feeling insecure at the hands of the encroachers because the department does a little to teach a lesson to the encroachers and violators of the law.