(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
Ghulam Nabi Azad – KO photo
Srinagar- Democratic Azad Party (DAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad Saturday demanded a formal order from the Raj Bhavan to spare the poor in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive.
“I met Union Home minister Amit Shah and requested him that poor people should not be evicted from their houses, or poor shopkeepers from their shops through which they earn their livelihoods. The J-K LG has also given a statement that the poor will be spared So, we have decided to postpone our agitation on their assurances,” Azad said, addressing his party workers at Sonwar here.
Welcoming the statement by J-K LG, Azad said it cannot be a policy of any government to make its people homeless.
“Most of these people are poor. There are 50-60 lakh households, which is half of our population. It cannot be a policy of any government to make people homeless,” the former Congress general secretary said.
He said conflicting statements by the J-K administration have created a confusion, and therefore the Raj Bhavan should issue a formal order making it clear that poor people and small shopkeepers will not be evicted.
Thousands of people in Mumbai and Delhi encroach State land and the government provides them all facilities like electricity and water, he said.
Political parties and governments promise them regularisation during elections and several of these colonies have been regularised too, then why not in J-K, the former J-K chief minister said.
The DAP chairman said his party was not in favour of illegal occupation of government land by rich and influential people.
But there should not be pick and choose while dealing with the big fishes, he said.
Asked about a reported J-K chief secretary directive to officers to check if anybody making negative statements on the anti-encroachment drive has himself or herself encroached upon a government land, Azad said no one can be stopped from making any statements in a democracy.
Earlier, his party members took out a protest march from the party office at Sonwar and blocked the main road near Sonwar Chowk. They demanded a rollback of the eviction order.
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