Eviction Drive Continues Despite Criticism, Protests In J&K

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

KO File Photo by Abid Bhat

Land Retrieved From Two Former Ministers In J&K

Srinagar- Despite facing sharp criticism from the residents and major political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory administration continued its anti-encroachment drive on Monday and retrieved over 400 kanal of state and Kahcharai land, including 13 kanal of forest land from the illegal occupation of a former Minister.

According to reports, a joint team of revenue and forest department officials assisted by police appeared in the Sedow area of Shopian on Monday morning and retrieved over 13 kanal and 16 marla of forest land, illegally occupied by former minister Taj Mohi-Ud-Din. The entire chunk of land, reports said, measured around 35 kanal.

The anti-encroachment team used JCB to pull down the chain-link fence used by the former Minister to secure the land.

A resident of the border town of Uri, Taj resigned from Congress last year and joined Ghulam Nabi Azad-led DAP.

In Ganderbal district, over 66 kanal of state and Kahcharai land was reclaimed during a day-long anti-encroachment drive, an official spokesperson said.

The drive, he said, was carried out jointly by civil administration in different tehsils of the district. The land retrieved on Monday from influential persons includes 58 kanal of state land and eight kanal of Kahcharai.

“During the anti-encroachment drive JCB machines were deployed to dismantle the boundary walls and other structures erected illegally on government land besides notice boards indicating the status of land, survey number, location, etc. was installed on the site,” the spokesperson said.

In Wussan, located on the banks of Sindh stream, he said, 38 kanal and 8 marla of encroached state and Kahcharai land were freed from influential persons, including businessmen and top government officers.

He said that most of the retrieved land in estate Wussan has been handed over to the Horticulture Department for development of orchards.

“The Revenue teams have retrieved approximately 18702 kanal of illegally occupied government land by various land grabbers till today which include 393 kanals of land from influential persons,” he added.

Echoing Lieutenant Governor, the spokesperson reiterated that the district administration has assured that common masses and poor people will not be touched and only those who have illegally occupied the Government land by using their positions will be dealt with strictly.

In Jammu, the spokesperson said, 175 kanal prime state land was retrieved during eviction cum anti- encroachment drives conducted in different parts of the winter capital.

He said a team of district administration along with police evacuated 3 kanal prime state land in Chowadi area which was encroached by a former cabinet minister. The state land signboard was also installed on the retrieved land freed from Ex-MLA from Darhal Assembly constituency.

Meanwhile, here in Srinagar little known Awami Awaz Party on Monday held a protest against the eviction drive.

Carrying placards, dozens of activists of the party assembled at the Maisuma market to register their anger against the eviction drive. The placards read“Kindly let us live peacefully” and“India is not Israel.”

Party leader Nadeem Ahmad said the LG administration should stop the demolition drive which has badly affected the poor people.

“Who were affected by the demolition drive at Mehjoor Nagar yesterday? Was there any rich and influential person? They are poor people who are living hand to mouth,” Ahmad told reporters.

He said if the government did not reconsider its eviction drive, the consequences would be very serious.

“Is Kashmir not for the people of Kashmir? You are giving land to outsiders while making Kashmiris homeless,” he added.

5 Arrested For Stone Pelting In Jammu

Five people were arrested and four detained in connection with stone pelting during an anti-encroachment drive here last week, police said on Monday.

Three policemen were injured in the stone pelting that took place on Saturday during the drive to demolish a vehicle showroom built on encroached land in Malik Market in Narwal bypass area, they said.

The owner of the showroom, Sajad Ahmed Beigh, is among those arrested, according to police.

“We have arrested five people and detained four others in connection with stone pelting that took place during an anti-encroachment drive here,” a senior police officer told PTI.

They are being questioned at Trikuta Nagar police station, officials said.

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