The anti-encroachment drive by Jammu and Kashmir administration intensified on Saturday as the land illegally occupied by 'influential persons' was retrieved at many places in the valley. Various political parties have demanded that the poor be spared in the drive. On Friday, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha assured that 'only influential and powerful people who misused their position and violated the law to encroach upon the state land' would face action.
Illegal encroachments at many places in Srinagar including at Humhama, Peerbagh, Padshahibagh and Chattabal were removed on Saturday, the officials said. At Humhama, the state land was freed from the occupation of an influential person, a former bureaucrat, they said. The eviction drive was also carried out in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
"The district administration of Anantnag conducted massive anti-encroachment operations against various stone crushers operating from State/Kahcharai lands," an official said. A total of 50 kanals of land was retrieved which lies at a short distance from NH44 – Srinagar-Jammu national highway - and is valued in excess of Rs 20 crore.
The officials said that the crushers have been given a week to remove the machinery from the spot failing which the machinery will also be seized.
Demolition drives were also undertaken in Bumthan Mirbazar where another stone crusher was operating on state land. A total of 14 kanals of land were retrieved by the revenue team from Tehsil Qazigund, they said.
The officials said, such drives, especially against influential persons, will continue. Democratic Azad Party (DAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday demanded a formal order from the Raj Bhavan to spare the poor in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive. His party members took out a protest march from the party office at Sonwar and blocked the main road near Sonwar Chowk.
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