Hell was let loose yesterday at the Kanikay wharf around the cline town vicinity in the eastend part
of Freetown when a substantial number of unemployed youths in the community openly revolted to what they tagged as “unfair police demolition of their dwelling structures.”
Hundreds of residents stood their ground and resisted attempts by armed police personnel and unidentified hired youths to demolish their structures that they have been living in for several years.
According to one of the victims Abu Koroma the demolition exercise came as a surprise to them because they were neither informed nor consulted on the demolition exercise, besides he said the police officers did not only carry out the demolition exercise but vandalized their places and carted away their personal effects including : huge amount of cash, television sets, generators and other properties worth millions of Leones.
Another victim Lamin Bangura stated that during the demolition exercise the whole community was polluted with tear gas thereby giving rise to a number faint cases among under age children whom he said were are now receiving medical treatment.
A female victim Adama Amara explained that police did not only set their houses on fire but also tortured occupants pointing out that one of the peaceful residents Usufu Kamara was merciless beaten up and taken to an unknown destination .
He confirmed that Foday Mansaray, Ibrahim Turay, Mohamed Bangura and Mariatu Bangura were among the children who were reportedly left in critical condition.
The Hon. Member of parliament representing that area Alieu Badara Turay said he was in Parliament when got a distress call from Kanikay informing him about the demolition exercise and had to rush to the area to quell the situation which was getting out of hands. H has promised to engage government to resolve the impasse.
An officer from lands ministry Joseph Tommy confided in Awoko that there is approximately over 1 acre of land along that wharf which is owned by the state and not individuals.
The Chief Police Officer who led the exercise stated that there was no casualty and their operation was successful. By Solomon Rogers