Sitra Police Station under attack
New talks bid to end violence in Sitra
Manama, June 8, 2014
A dialogue for Sitra is being proposed as part of a new initiative to tackle ongoing street violence.
Legislators want to sit down with village elders to find ways to overcome the situation and ensure young people stay away from rioting, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
They also dismissed claims that Sitra was being sidelined when it came to major projects, but admitted that the "hostile" nature of the area kept officials away.
"After all, we are also human and an attack on our family is a matter of concern," said MP Ahmed Al Sa'ati.
He referred to attacks against area MP Jawad Hussain, who has been threatened several times since he was elected unopposed to the Central Governorate's sixth constituency during the by-elections in September 2011.
"His house was attacked the very day he was declared elected. His children were threatened," added Al Sa'ati.
"However, we were able to take Mr Hussain along with Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi to meet the family of the two girls who died in a fire two weeks ago."
Hussain was adamant that a solution could be reached if the villagers were willing to co-operate.
"We are ready for talks and if the elders and the youth of the village are willing, we can come up with solutions," he said.
MP Dr Somaya Al Jowder, who admitted to not visiting the village for more than a year, said Sitra's plight was a collective responsibility.
"It is not only the responsibility of the MPs or the government, but of community leaders, clerics and residents," she said.
"Sitra faces multiple conflicts and it is hard to work on them unless all parties concerned work together.
"Each segment of the society has its role to play, which needs to be redefined.
"All concerned must keep away their selfish goals and personal agendas and work together as a family.
"The youth in the village are angry, we need to sit with them and find out the reason for their resentment so that we can find a solution."
Some residents have welcomed the move, but accused MPs and councillors of ignoring the village which they claimed has resulted in delays of municipal work and projects.
One elderly Bahraini hopes discussions with authorities will end daily vandalism which has destroyed business in the area.
"Nobody calls upon us or visits, even in times of tragedies, be it political or not," he told the GDN.
"Even when tragedies like major accidents or deaths happen in the village, unlike the other parts of Bahrain, no government official visits us.
"The village roads are badly affected by the routine vandal acts and businesses are on the low."
A resident said attacks on police and private property have become "routine".
"During weekends, especially Thursday afternoons, roads to Sitra are closed, which leaves us stranded and unable to get home," said the Indian mother.
Another mother said her children were almost always late to school because riots forced police to close down the village.
"The checkpoints and the closure of the village due to riots is a concern," said the Bahraini.
"My children's school is located opposite the entrance to the village, but the closing down of the roads leads to heavy traffic jam and we reach school late."
The latest Molotov cocktail attack on the Sitra Police Station damaged several nearby shops.
The Interior Ministry said police dispersed outlaws behind the attack last Sunday.
The GDN earlier reported that businesses were badly affected in the village, with shops seeking a compensation of up to BD10,000 ($26,366) after a similar cocktail attack on the police station.
The police station has faced several attacks since unrest broke out in 2011. - TradeArabia News Service