People resort to protests, stone pelting in Jammu
JAMMU/SRINAGAR, Feb 4: Intensifying its anti-encroachment drive in the Union Territory, Jammu and Kashmir Administration today retrieved around 2016 kanals State land from the illegal encroachers including two ex-Ministers, a former bureaucrat and a relative of Peoples Conference leader while as it also dismantled a showroom in Narwal-Bathindi area of Jammu, sparking strong protest as well as stone pelting by the inhabitants of the area on officials executing the demolition drive.
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As per the reports, thousands of people came on roads this evening in Narwal-Bathindi area of Jammu when the district administration as part of its anti-encroachment drive, was demolishing the building of MG Hector showroom at Malik Market, Narwal with the help of four JCBs in presence of officers of civil administration and a strong contingent of police.
As JCBs were busy in dismantling the building, the people who had gathered there from the neighbouring residential colonies protested against the drive. Suddenly, crowd started pelting stones on the JCBs engaged in dismantling the structure. At one time, the security forces and operators of JCBs had to flee to save their lives.
During stone pelting, several officials of Police and Revenue departments including concerned Patwari received minor injuries. While pelting stones, the protesting people blocked the highway at Malik Market. As the situation turned tense, the additional security forces were called and teargas shells were used to disperse the mob. Meanwhile, top district police officers also rushed to the spot and tried to convince the protesters to disperse.
After several hours of protest, the mob dispersed on the assurance of the senior officers from police and civil administration but as per sources, the security in the area was tightened as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Jammu Avny Lavasa today assured the people that no residence or small commercial shops on which livelihood of families is dependent will be disturbed during anti-encroachment drive. The statement of Deputy Commissioner came in view of protest by the people when the district administration was conducting an Anti encroachment drive in Malik Market.
She clarified that the action was taken by district administration after the prominent showroom was issued notice and it failed to submit any justification in stipulated time frame. Lavasa said that it is a pro people drive and only against those people who has encroached state land for vested interest by misusing their power. The Deputy Commissioner said that the law and order situation is under control and appealed to the people to cooperate with administration for their own benefit.
Meanwhile, a joint team of Revenue and Police officials led by Sub Divisional Magistrate Chowki Choura Virender Gupta conducted an anti-encroachment drive and retrieved prime State land measuring 17 kanals and 09 marlas at village Buddhi of Kanehari Panchayat and retrieved 16 kanals and 14 marlas of land at village Kanehari.
In Kashmir, authorities today retrieved hundreds of Kanals of Government land from encroachers including influential ones. The Government lands were retrieved at the residences of former Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Farooq Renzu and Advocate Shabnum Ganie Lone who is sister of Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone.
Encroachments were removed at several places today including Humhama, Peerbagh, Padshahibagh, Nishat and Chattabal areas of Srinagar. At Rafiabad Chakloo in Baramulla district Teshilder Baramulla Kifayat Ali was injured in mob attack during the demolition drive to retrieve state land.
At Humhama in Srinagar, State land was freed from the occupation of former Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Farooq Renzu. The outer wall of a house belonging to Shah, however, not registered in his personal name, was demolished and about one kanal of state land was retrieved from his possession.
Renzu said the ancestral property belongs to his family and was not registered in his name. ”I support the rule of law, but the government should implement the rule of law without fearing the influential people, and not target only one or two of them,”‘ he said.
The outer wall of Shabnum Lone’s residence in the Kral Sangri Nishat area on the city outskirts was demolished by a team of the Revenue Department, Srinagar, to reclaim State/Kacharai land under Khasra no 3557 from her occupation.
In Chattabal area of the city here, the authorities sealed a shopping complex claiming it was built on State land. However, advocate Shoaib Zahoor, owner of the property, said the land was allotted to them by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) through an open auction in 2004.
“I was the highest bidder and deposited Rs 42,50,000 and on that basis, I was allotted this land in 2007… High Court gave me possession completely in 2012 after some unscrupulous persons along with the Revenue Department wanted to take this land. We are not encroachers, we have due regard for the law. In 2018, the High Court upheld the allotment as legal and valid. On that basis, I got the commercial building permission from the competent authority (SMC) in 2019,” he said.
He said they were not served any notice for the sealing of the building. He appealed the LG administration to look into the issue.
Authorities also carried out an anti-encroachment drive at Padshahibagh Mehjoor Nagar in Srinagar today. The people of the area alleged that the authorities are targeting their “proprietary land despite genuine documents”. Many also alleged that they were not even served notice or given any information about the eviction.
“We have been doing business on this land for years. We have bank liabilities. Are we land grabbers? It is just a few marlas of land. Why is the government after the poor people,” one of the targeted families asked. “Other than that patch of land, we have nothing. Snatching it will push us to poverty,” an elderly man was seen asking the Tehsildar.
“The fencing wall of our land has been demolished. We have papers of this land registered way back in 1972, but without checking anything they demolished the wall. Why did they run away now; let them prove our property is illegal,” said a man whose property was also targeted in the drive at Padshahi Bagh.
In Srinagar, the District Administration today reclaimed about 409 kanals of prime State/Kahcharai land worth over Rs 240.58 crore from the influential land grabbers. The anti-encroachment operation was launched in all 7 tehsils of the District including Eidgah, North Srinagar, Pantha Chowk, Khanyar, South Srinagar, Central Shalteng and Chanapora Tehsil.
In a massive anti-encroachment drive in Dara and Danihama villages and 12 kanals of State/Kacharai land worth Rs 3.60 crores was retrieved from the land grabbers. While in Ahal village of the Tehsil, the anti-encroachment team also retrieved 35 kanals of land including a hotel worth Rs 35 crores.
Similarly, in a major anti-encroachment drive launched at Balhama village, as many as 77 kanals of Kahcharie land was retrieved under survey number 1522, 1442 and 1443 having value of over Rs 33 crores. Likewise, in Kreshibal and Anchar villages in Eidgah Tehsil, 101 kanals and 17 marlas of State land worth Rs 40.74 crore was retrieved from the illegal occupants.
In South Tehsil of the District, 40 kanals and 17 marlas of Kahaharai land worth Rs 51 crores was retrieved from the encroachers at KP Bagh. Similarly, in Khushipora and Rampura villages of Central Shalteng Tehsil, 21 kanals of Kahcharai land worth Rs 16 crore was evicted from the land grabbers including a commercial complex.
In Chanapora Tehsil, over 87 kanals and 11 marlas of Kahcharai land was also evicted from land grabbers in Laloo Sheshgari Bagh and Nowgam area having value of Rs 42.5 crore while in Khanyar Tehsil, 34 kanals of State land was retrieved in Nishat and Brane villages worth Rs 14.64 crore under survey number 43, 3557, 2919 and 3157.
The eviction drive was also carried out in the Anantnag district of south Kashmir and 50 kanals of land was retrieved which lies at a short distance from NH44 Srinagar-Jammu National Highway — and is valued in excess of Rs 20 crore. The officials said the crushers have been given a week to remove the machinery from the spot failing which the machinery will also be seized.
Demolition drives were also undertaken in Bumthan Mirbazar where another stone crusher was operating on State land. A total of 14 kanals of land were retrieved by the revenue team from Tehsil Qazigund, they said.
The District Administration Kathua today retrieved over 546 kanals illegally occupied State/Roshni land in the district. The eviction drive was carried out in different tehsils of the district and approximately 491 kanals and 19 marlas State land was retrieved in Block Dinga Amb, 30 kanals and 17 marlas in Mahanpur, 14 kanals and 01 marla in Marheen and 9 kanals and 07 marlas in Basohli Tehsil. A piece of prime land of commercial category measuring 5 Marlas was also recovered from a prominent politician during the eviction drive in Tehsil Billawar.
In Ramban, the District Administration today reclaimed more than 708 kanals of State land across different tehsils of the District. While 207 kanals of State land was retrieved in Tehsil Ramban, 400 kanals was retrieved in Tehsil Pogal-Paristan (Ukhral), 21 kanals in Ramsoo, 80 Kanals in Rajgarh, 65 kanals in Banihal and 8 kanals in Batote.
The District Administration Kishtwar today retrieved around 67.09 kanals of encroached State land from an ex-minister and his family at Karool, Sarthal area. Meanwhile in another instance, 5.06 kanals of State land at Lachkhazana which was illegally occupied by another ex-minister was also retrieved yesterday by Kishtwar Administration.
In Rajouri, the District Administration reclaimed 250 kanals of State land from encroachers in Village Shahdra Sharief. The land was retrieved from Khasra numbers 246,246/1, 90, 252 and 12 of Village Shahdra Sharief.