One killed, three injured as villagers foil land-grabbing bid.

ISLAMABAD -- At least one person was killed and three received injuries on Saturday as residents of Kortana village in Sihala foiled a bid by armed men allegedly sent by a housing society to grab common land (shamlat).

A police official told Dawn that there was a series of attempts by one of the country's leading housing societies to grab the village common land. In light of these attempts and the police's inaction, the SHO of the Sihala police station was also removed earlier this week.

The Saturday incident took place due to the negligence of the police as well.

According to a police official, at least a dozen men armed to teeth stormed the village to take over the land, but their attempt was thwarted by the villagers who had gathered at some distance from the men who had arrived in SUVs.

The police were informed about the tense situation in the village and the presence of the gunmen in the area, the official told Dawn.

He added that in the meantime a 'confrontation' ensued which ended up in firing by the assailants.

As a result, a villager died, and three other sustained bullet injuries. In a subsequent retaliation by the residents, the attackers fled the scene.

G.T. Road blocked

The killing prompted a demonstration by the locals who blocked G.T. Road to protest the attack on the village.

They said the police failed to take action against the housing society despite several complaints lodged by the villagers against land-grabbing attempts. Senior police officials also reached the spot and negotiated with the villagers to end the protest.

After hours-long negotiation, the protest was called off and the body of the slain villager was handed over to the police for autopsy, the police official said, adding that the police high-ups assured locals that action would be taken against the culprits.

Another police official said...

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