Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2023

L-G govt. faces stiff opposition to eviction drive from political parties, locals in J&K

Congress workers during a protest rally against the new land law policy, in Srinagar February 6 2023.

Congress workers during a protest rally against the new land law policy, in Srinagar February 6 2023.
| Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

The J&K Lieutenant Governor’s administration on Monday faced stiff opposition from political parties, and street protest by locals over the ongoing drive to evict those occupying ‘State’ land in the Union Territory.

An online threat, attributed to The Resistance Front (TRF), where it threatened to attack the employees of the district administration and the Revenue department involved in the eviction drive, went viral on social media in J&K. However, the J&K police have neither denied nor confirmed the veracity of the threat. Security agencies have taken notice of the online threat, officials said.

Nine people have been arrested from Jammu’s Malik Market and Bathindi areas, where locals clashed with the officials and security personnel on Saturday in a bid to stop a demolition drive. Officials said five locals, including a shopping complex’s owner, have been arrested following the violence. Around four persons were also detained for questioning.  

“Residences or small shops on which livelihoods of families depend will not be harmed during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in Jammu district. It’s a pro-people drive and only against those who have encroached upon ‘State’ land for vested interest by misusing their power,” Avny Lavasa Deputy Commissioner of Jammu, said.

Meanwhile, the Congress held a street demonstration in Jammu over the drive and opposed the move.

In Kashmir, scores of structures, including houses and shops, allegedly built on ‘State’ land were demolished in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district and central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, IN Ganderbal, official figures suggest around 18702 kanals (2337.7498 acres) of “illegally occupied government land” has been retrieved so far. 

Structures of several prominent politicians, affiliated to the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress and People Conference (PC), have also faced bulldozers during the drive.

NC vice president Omar Abdullah asked the administration to follow legal procedure and issue notices where land is occupied illegally rather than sending bulldozers.”

“There is chaos everywhere. Bulldozers should be the last resort not the first step,” Mr. Abdullah said.

Abdullah’s close relatives, the Neudos, also faced bulldozers. “The Neudos were neither served notice nor their revenue papers were considered,” Mr. Abdullah said. He said his sister has already approached the court “with a lease period to ensure bulldozers don’t stand outside her house”. 

Mr. Abdullah said he will support the administration if it goes after big land grabbers but urged to spare small landholders and regularise colonies. “No government is supposed to bring trouble for the people,” he added.

He said it seems Article 370 was diluted to reverse the land to tiller move of NC founder Sheikh Abdullah. “All anti-people measures implemented will be reversed once statehood and assembly are fully restored in J&K,” he added.

Peoples Conference president Sajad Gani Lone accused the L-G administration of creating homelessness in J&K.

“The objective of the ongoing eviction drive seems to be humiliation of Kashmiris. The current administration in J&K is not an elected regime and should leave bigger decisions for an elected government. They cannot take decisions on behalf of the people of J&K. There is a cabal of officers who are doing it and wreaking havoc,” Mr. Lone said.

CPI(M) leader M.Y. Yousuf Tarigami said the drive has generated fear among the common masses.

“While big land grabbers have to be identified and action be taken strictly under law, the manner and the method used to evict the alleged land encroachers, especially the peasants, marginal farmers, small shopkeepers and those living in small houses constructed years back, sends a message that the administration is insensitive to the interests and sentiments of the general public,” he said.

Source link

Most Popular News