‘Miscreants’ Grab Apple Orchard in Yaripora, Threaten Victim

Kulgam: Miscreants, taking advantage of a residents stay outside J&K, have grabbed his seven kanals of apple orchard at a village in Yaripora tehsil. The owner, who returned home after years of service outside, says when he tried to retrieve his land he was threatened with death by the land grabbers and has sought the intervention of higher authorities.

The victim Ashraf Ali said his orchard, measuring seven kanals situated at village Manchoo, Munadh Gophan in Yaripora tehsil, was occupied by the miscreants, one of them an ex-militant, a few years back, but he found it only after his return following years of service outside J&K.

“They had trespassed my land and have been stealing the fruit for all these years”, Ali said, alleging that some government officials were in cohorts with the trespassers as despite numerous applications and complaints made to the concerned authorities, no action has been taken so far.

The victims further says that in late 2015 he visited the Tehsil Headquarters situated at Yaripora and obtained latest revenue papers duly showing his ownership. However he says the headquarters was gutted in an arson attack adding he has reason to believe that the miscreants were behind the fire to destroy the record.

The victim says that in 2020 the Tehsildar on the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner recorded the statements of witnesses as Executive Magistrate clearly demonstrating the assertions made by the victim but nothing was done thereafter to evict the trespassers or stop the theft of the fruit of the said orchards.

Ali further said that he even filed a complaint bearing number PE 113, 2016, with the Crime Branch of the J&K Police. “They recorded the statements of various witnesses. All the witnesses testified to the claim of the victim but to my utter shock and disbelief even the Crime Branch slept over the matter”, Ali alleged.

He also approached the Revenue authorities at various levels but of no avail, he claims.

The victim says that he has filed a complaint with the Anti Corruption Bureau now and expects that the ACB will investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

The victim also intends to file a civil suit for the recovery of loss caused to him on account of the stolen fruit that he feels is in crores of rupees.

“In another nearby village Kathapora  another ‘known offender’ has been trespassing three kanals of my orchard land for decades and has been stealing the fruit, ” Ashraf Ali said.

Naib Tehsildar Yaripora, Kulgam, Mushtaq Ahmad, when contacted, said that land records of the orchard were in the name of Ashraf Ali’s father Habibullah Malik S/o Sadiq Malik. However he said that the said records were destroyed in 2016 when a mob set the Tehsil office Yaripora on fire. He further said that the said land was under the possession of the party who had originally sold this land to Habibullah Malik and they are now producing original documents procured from Muhafiz Khana while Malik’s documents were destroyed in the blaze.

He said, since both the parties are holding the land documents only the civil court can decide about the matter.

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