Ghulam Hassan seeks halt to ongoing anti-encroachment drive

AP senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir addressing a press conference at Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh
AP senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir addressing a press conference at Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 2: Apni Party (AP) senior vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir today condemned the anti-encroachment drive stating that it caused anxiety and fear among thousands of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Addressing a press conference here at the Apni Party Office in Gandhi Nagar, Ghulam Hassan Mir said that, “The manner in which the anti-encroachment drive has been undertaken violates the norms of welfare and democratic state. There is no logic in rendering the people homeless by bulldozing their houses.” He said that “There is a need to draw distinction between the land grabbers and the people, compelled by their basic needs, to raise structures on small pieces of the state land, be it nazool or kahacharai.”
He said that the land grabbers should be punished under the law of the land. “There is no opposition to this, but to demolish the small hutments or small business establishments on the state land cannot be put in the same category. It seems that the Government did not do its homework properly, and has come out with a sweeping order that has caused severe fear among the masses,” he added.
Ghulam Hassan further said that the Apni Party has made its position very clear on this. It presented the same plea before the Home Minister Amit Shah and J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who had promised and assured that no such action would be undertaken, but what has happened over the past few days has shown the gaps between the assurances and the reality on the ground.
He further said, “The best course, as we have said it time and again, is that the Government should issue formal orders, take rent from the building owners, to keep the things afloat. Secondly, as is the norm in the rest of the country, and also in J&K, that irregular colonies are regularized, all such colonies, whether in J&K should be regularized.”