Majid Kapra

Anti-encroachment drive continues to target the ‘powerful’!

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Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir went into overdrive on Tuesday to retrieve the encroached government land from influential persons, as they demolished outer walls of the properties belonging to a former minister, the family of a senior police officer and a businessman besides others.

The Revenue department retrieved about 40 kanals of land allegedly occupied by the owners of Hotel Nedou’s at MA Road here, officials said.

Nedou’s owners are in relation with the Abdullahs of the National Conference.

The officials said the hotel is built on 153 kanals of land, out of which an area of 40 kanals is the State land and the rest is the leased land.

They said a boundary wall and a shed were demolished as part of the eviction drive.

In Anantnag district of south Kashmir, the boundary wall and a security bunker of the residence of former minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayyed – a Congress leader – at Dahmal Khoshipora area was demolished by a team of Revenue department, the officials said.

They said the structures were built on the State land. Adding around one Kanal of occupied land was freed from illegal occupation here.

Speaking to reporters at the spot, Naib Tehsildar, Damhal, Mohammad Yaseen, said Sayyed had “illegally” occupied the State land.

“We demolished the outer wall and some bunkers which were built on government land. We can use this land for a playground or a hospital,” he said.

Similarly, the family of Syed Farooq Andrabi, former legislator from Dooru, had encroached upon 2 Kanals and 7 Marlas of Shamilat land at Shistergam. This land was also retrieved and notice boards indicating the status of land have been installed on the site, officials said.

In another action, the Revenue department demolished the outer wall of an orchard land belonging to the family to a deputy inspector general of police (DIG)-rank official at Mattan area of Anantnag, the officials said.

They said the land measuring about half-a-kanal was “illegally” occupied by the family.

Another 15 Kanals of Shamilat lands which had been occupied by the heirs of Syed Mir Qasim, former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was also retrieved by a team led by Tehsildar Dooru. It is in place to mention that the encroachers had established an orchard at the site.

An anti-encroachment drive was also held in the Karan Nagar area of the city here, where the outer fencing of the State land allegedly encroached upon was demolished and 12.5 kanals of land were retrieved, the officials said.

They said three buildings having some shops built on the land were also sealed.

An official, who was part of the drive, told ‘Kashmir Images’ that the land measuring 12.5 Kanals under the possession of a Kashmiri Pandit, the late Makhan Lal Dhar at Karan Nagar area of the city, was retrieved this afternoon.

He said besides seizing two-storey concrete structure constructed over the said land, the outer fencing of the structure was demolished by the authorities.

“The lease period of the land measuring 12.5 Kanals had expired some ten years ago and the same was not extended since. There was also a concrete building which was seized while the outer boundary was demolished,” the official added.

Pertinently, on Monday, the authorities had demolished the boundary wall of a SSP-rank officer at Humhama in the outskirts of the city here.

Earlier, the authorities demolished the boundary wall and guard house at the residence of NC general secretary and former minister Ali Mohammad Sagar at Humhama near airport here.

These drives are part of a campaign launched by the authorities to retrieve State land allegedly encroached by several people, including politicians and officials, across the Union territory.

Meanwhile, Revenue authorities in Pahalgam led by Tehsildar Pahalgam today took over a guest-house named Green Acker.

Officials said 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.

Green Acker guest-house is situated on Laripora main road on a piece of State land that is worth crores of rupees and the property was being used for commercial purposes. It is in place to mention that the area has a large tourist footfall and is highly valued commercially.

In Jammu region too, authorities retrieved nearly eight acres of state land here allegedly encroached upon by influential persons.

“Continuing with the anti-encroachment drive, Jammu district administration today evacuated more than 63 kanals (nearly eight acres) of prime State land worth crores of rupees at different places of the district,” an official said.

During a demolition drive, a team of revenue officers and police demolished three illegal structures including boundary walls and retrieved prime state land measuring 21 kanals in Deeli village near Tawi farm in Bishnah bridge, the officials said.

The land is approximately one kilometre from the national highway and values crores of rupees, they said.

In another anti-encroachment drive, state land measuring 12 kanals was retrieved in village Gole in Jammu West, they said.

A team of revenue officers along with police retrieved prime state land from the encroachers and installed a sign board on the spot, they said.

Similarly, the district administration retrieved state land measuring 23 kanals 9 marla (3 acres) in village Ghaink in Bhalwal.

The retrieved land was encroached by a former legislature which was evacuated by the district administration in Jammu, the officials said.

Some media reports suggested that the Bhalwal land on the outskirts of the city was allegedly occupied by BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta.

However, Gupta has denied the media reports and said that the land retrieved in Bhalwal does not belong to him.

“The land retrieved by the administration (in Bhalwal) does not belong to me. It is government land. Some people who are spreading this want to tarnish my image,” he told PTI.

He further said that he also denied such reports last year.

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