By: Mustapha Jarju & Binta Jaiteh
Despite the unusually heavy military presence at Old Jeshwang, the special operations launched by the police and partners to clear roads of illegal structures were met with resistance from a gang of boys in the Serekunda suburb.
According to sources, the boys work in a garage on the road and the police tried to clear it of vehicles but they resisted.
“At least a dozen boys have been arrested by the police. There was a fracas but no one was injured,” the police spokesman Cadet ASP Musa Sisawo explained to The Voice when contacted last evening.
“The PIU was on the ground and some of the boys ran away. A dozen of them were arrested but released. We are not taking anything for granted that’s why we deployed the National Guard and the PIU. We are expecting anything. This is why we had the PIU because they were trained for crowd control,” he added.
The operations codenamed Special Security Operation on Illegal Encroachments saw the police move in on makeshift and temporary structures on all sides of the highway.
The countrywide operations that began in the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) on 19 Oct. are being spearheaded by the Gambia Police Force (GPF) in partnership with stakeholders such as the National Road Authority(NRA), Gambia Transport Union(GTU) and the Physical Planning Department.
“This initiative includes the demolition of permanent and temporary structures and installations that are in breach of the laws governing road safety and public order,” GPF said hours before Thursday’s operation.
“In response to the government’s press release titled ‘Special Security Operation on Illegal Encroachments,’ the public is respectfully urged to remove any illegally erected structures. Failure to do so will result in the enforcement of appropriate laws by The Gambia Police Force,” it added.
Meanwhile, the GPF spokesperson said he was impressed with the outcome of yesterday’s exercise.
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