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February 4, 2023 11:30 pm

Govt Speeds Up Anti-Encroachment Drive In Kashmir

Perimeter wall of house of former bureaucrat Farooq Renzu was demolished at Humhama – KO photo by Abid Bhat 

409 Kanal Land Worth Rs 240.58 Crore Reclaimed In Srinagar: Officials

Eviction Drive Turns Violent In Jammu, Policeman Injured

By Majid Nabi

Srinagar- A day after Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha reiterated that the ongoing eviction drive was aimed at ‘influential and powerful land grabbers’, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday ran bulldozers on the properties of advocate Shabnum Lone, and former director information Farooq Renzu Shah in the twin districts of Srinagar and Budgam.

Besides it, land eviction drives were also carried out in Anantnag and Baramulla districts of the Valley as well.

According to officials, 409 kanal of prime state and Kahcharai land worth over Rs 240.58 crore was reclaimed from the influential land grabbers from all 7 Tehsils, including Eidgah, North Srinagar, Panthachowk, Khanyar, South Srinagar, Central Shalteng and Chanapora.

They said a joint team of revenue and Police headed by Tehsildar North, Kaiser Mehmood launched a massive anti-encroachment drive in Dara and Danihama villages and retrieved 12 kanals of state and Kahcharai land worth Rs 3.60 crore from the land grabbers. In Ahal village of the Tehsil, the team, they said, also retrieved 35 kanal of land including a hotel worth Rs 35 crore.

Similarly, the officials said, in a major anti-encroachment drive launched at Balhama village under the supervision of Tehsildar Pantha Chowk, Rakib Ahmad as many as 77 kanal of Kahcharai land was retrieved under survey no 1522, 1442 & 1443 having value of over 33 crore.

“Likewise, Kreshibal and Anchar villages in Eidgah Tehsil, Revenue Team headed by Tehsildar, Ishfaq Ahamd Khan retrieved 101 kanal and 17 marlas of state land worth Rs 40.74 crore from the illegal occupants,” they said.

In South Tehsil of the District, the officials said, a team headed by Tehsildar, Maeen Kakroo conducted a massive anti-encroachment drive in KP Bagh and retrieved 40 kanal and 17 marlas of Kahcharai land worth Rs 51 crore from the encroachers.

“Similarly, in Khushipora and Rampura villages of Central Shalteng Tehsil, 21 kanals of Kahcharai land worth Rs 16 crore has been evicted from the land grabbers including a commercial complex, while in Chanapora Tehsil over 87 kanal 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,” they said.

In Khanyar Tehsil, the officials said, 34 kanal of state land was also retrieved in Nishat and Brane areas worth Rs 14.64 crore under survey no. 43, 3557, 2919 and 3157.

An official told Kashmir Observer that land measuring two kanal was retrieved from the illegal possession of Supreme Court advocate Shabnum Lone at Kral Sangri area in Nishat. She is the sister of former Minister and Chairman of Peoples Conference, Sajad Gani Lone.

“The outer wall, gate and a small structure constructed on the government land bearing survey No. 3557 was also demolished,” he added.

Meanwhile, the residents of Padshahibagh staged a protest on Saturday morning after the team of revenue officials reached the area to undertake an eviction drive.

The locals alleged that the authorities, without serving any notice to them, knocked down several tin structures besides razing an outer wall to the ground.

“We know this is Kahcharai land, but where was the government when these structures were raised? Raja Begum, a protester asked.

She alleged that the ongoing drive was not affecting rich people but rendering poor masses ‘homeless’.

A rag-picker from West Bengal alleged that the revenue officials without any second thought directed the demolition squad to bring down his temporary residence, leaving his family ‘homeless’.

“I have been paying Rs11, 000 rent for my godown and residence to the landlord for the last 20 years. Where will I go with my family now in this harsh winter? He asked, while tears trickled down his cheeks.

In the Chattabal area, the authorities sealed a shopping complex claiming it was built on State land.

However, advocate Shoaib Zahoor, owner of the property, said the particular chunk of land was allotted to him 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 The J-K High Court gave me possession completely in 2012 after some unscrupulous persons alongwith 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,” Zahoor said.

He said they were not served any notice for the sealing of the building.

At Humhama in Budgam district, one kanal state land was retrieved from the occupation of former director information Farooq Renzu Shah. Boundary wall around the land was also demolished during the drive.

 3 Stone Crushers Demolished In Anantnag

Reports from South Kashmir said a massive anti-encroachment drive was also carried out in Anantnag district during which various stone crushers operating from state land were removed.

They said 25 kanals of land was retrieved in Bumthan area of the district where 3 stone crushers were operating from state land despite being served eviction notice few days ago.

“Today demolition drives were held as they failed to pay heed to the Government notices,” they said.

The officials said that while removing boundary walls and allied structures, the encroachers were given a week’s time to remove the machinery from the spot failing which the machinery will also be seized.

Tehsildar Hurt In Baramulla

Earlier a senior revenue department official was injured during an anti-encroachment drive carried out by authorities in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Saturday, officials said.

The anti-encroachment drive to retrieve state land was undertaken in the Chakla Rafiabad area of the north Kashmir district, they added.

During the drive, some people protested against the government move and attacked the officials who were doing their duty, leading to minor injuries to Baramulla Tehsildar Kifayat Ali, the officials said.

The anti-encroachment drive was intensified across the valley on Saturday, with state land worth crores of rupees retrieved from the illegal occupation of many, including influential people.

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