Land grabbed by relatives of ex-CMs, former PCC president retrieved

Encroachments being demolished at MA Road in Srinagar. - Excelsior/Shakeel
Encroachments being demolished at MA Road in Srinagar. - Excelsior/Shakeel

Notices served to influential persons in Jammu

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR/JAMMU, Jan 31: In its drive against the influential land grabbers, the administration in Kashmir today retrieved Government land grabbed by the relatives of four former Chief Ministers and a former Congress president while the district Jammu administration has served notices to politicians and prominent businessmen to vacate encroached land or face action
The Srinagar administration today retrieved 40 kanals of state land which was part of Nedou’s Hotel that belongs to the maternal uncle of National Conference president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah.
As the Revenue officials visited the spot to retrieve the land, they were confronted by Abdullah’s nephew Muzaffar Ahmad Shah who heads the Awami National Conference. He said that the entire 180 kanals of land have been leased to Nedous over 150 years ago but Tehsildar said that 40 kanals out of it was State land and was grabbed.
The Nedou’s Hotel chain was built by Micheal Adam Nedou, an Englishman who later settled in Kashmir by marrying a tribal girl Mirjan. In 1933, founder of National Conference Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah married Begum Akbar Jehan daughter of Micheal Harry Nedou, the eldest son of Micheal Adam Nedou. The Nedous built two hotels one in Gulmarg and another in Srinagar by around 1888. The heritage Srinagar Nedou hotel is non-functional since 1990.
The property was, however, taken over by the ITC on long lease last year who are planning to build 114 room hotel with 20 room deluxe rooms to revive the heritage property.
Tehsildar South Moin Kakroo said that 40 kanals state land illegally occupied by Nedous Hotel owner has been retrieved at M A Road here while 12 kanals State land was retrieved at Karan Nagar.
The property at Karan Nagar was leased out to ML Dhar and its lease had expired. Authorities demolished few structures that were raised there but a heritage house was sealed and its possession was taken over by the Government.
Authorities retrieved land illegally occupied by former Pradesh Congress president Peerzada Mahammad Sayeed at Arad Khoshipora. He had grabbed one kanal of Kahcharie land which was retrieved today. The outer wall of his premises which had been constructed on Kahcharie land was demolished by the authorities.
“Notices for removing the encroachments had been issued to the former minister but he didn’t respond to them,” an official said.
The official said that family of PDP leader Syed Farooq Andrabi, former legislator from Dooru, had encroached upon 2 kanals and 7 marlas of Shamilat land by way of orchards at Shistergam village. The land has been retrieved and notice boards indicating the status of land have been installed on the site. Andrabi is close relative of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

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Authorities also retrieved 15 kanals of Shamilat lands which had been occupied by the heirs of Syed Mir Qasim, former Chief Minister. The encroachers had established an orchard at the site.
Authorities in Pahalgam led by Tehsildar Pahalgam Mohammad Husain today took over a guest house – Green Acker. The guest house, an illegal structure, located on a prime piece of land at Laripora Pahalgam was raised by Bashir Ahmad Dar, Ex EO MC Pahalgam and Manzoor Ahmad, ex Secretary MC Pahalgam. It is situated on Laripora main road on a piece of State land that is worth crores of rupees.
The Tehsildar said that the anti-encroachment drives in Pahalgam have been successful in retrieving 1000s of kanals of land which can now be used for public purpose. He said the piece of land had been grabbed by the officials by abusing their position and has been taken over by the department and will be put to public use. He said that other such properties are being identified and action will continue.
Meanwhile, the Jammu district administration has served notices to prominent politicians including to former Ministers, a Congress leader and many noted businessmen who own showrooms and malls on Narwal and Kunjwani Highways to vacate the encroached land.
Sources said if the encroachers don’t respond, the administration will get the land vocated.
Meanwhile, a team of Revenue officers, police and other concerned departments today retrieved more than 326 kanals prime State-land worth crores of rupees during different eviction cum anti encroachment drives across Jammu district.
During an eviction drive in village Keran, prime state land measuring 98 kanal 15 marla was retrieved near IMC College. The land is worth crores of rupees as per stamp duty and is only 1.5 Km away from Bantalab Road.
Another eviction drive was conducted in village Badgal Kalan, Niabat Sohal where prime state land measuring 216 kanal, 07 marla was retrieved from the encroachers.
Along with officials of Niabat Sohal, Lambardar and Chowkidar were present during the eviction drive. Further, a fresh FIR was also lodged against encroachers.
Similarly, in another anti-encroachment drive, state land measuring 10 Kanal in prime location of Village Sidhra, Tehsil Jammu Khas worth crores of rupees, was retrieved today by the district administration Jammu along with a team of revenue officers and police.