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33 Gujjar families asked to vacate state land in Jammu

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Srinagar, July: Government has served notices to at least 33 Gujjar families of Jammu region for vacating the state land.

The notices have been issued by Tehsildar Jammu North in village Thathar.

 

The families have been asked to explain why they should not be removed from the land by July 30.

“Whereas, it has been sought to my notice that you have illegally encroached upon the government land, by way of raising structures on the state land under Khasra No. 458, 459 and 482 of village Thathar, Tehsil Jammu North District Jammu,” the notice issued on July 18 reads.

“Whereas section 133 of the J&K land revenue Act, 1996, empowers the undersigned to eject an illegal encroacher from the state land, without paying any compensation, and it further empowers the undersigned to forbid repetition of such encroachment.”

The Tehsildar in the notice has mentioned that a PIL is pending disposal before the High Court of JK in connection with illegal encroachments on state land.

It says that the court has directed the revenue authorities to evict the “illegal encroachers”.

The notice reads: “You are hereby called upon to showcase as to why you should not be ejected from the state land and structures raised illegally in the shape of houses, plinth etc on the state land be demolished. Your reply should reach the undersigned by or before July 30 2018, falling which it shall be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defense and action under law shall be initiated.”

This is not for the first time when the Gujjars have been asked to dislocate from their respective places. Earlier, the government had asked over 200 Gujjar families to vacate the land identified for the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Samba of Jammu region.

Similarly, in the past several former BJP ministers and MLAs had pressed hard on eviction of Gujjar population from the land, “encroached” by the community since 1947.

Youth President Gujjar Bakarwal Youth Conference, Zahid Parvaz Chowdary claimed that government was deliberately targeting Gujjars.

“We were expecting some sort of relaxation during Governor’s Rule, but things have worsened. Instead of helping us, they are hell-bent on dislocating us from our respective places,” he claimed.

“We have been living here since several decades. Why do we have to face this discrimination? Why are we being forced to leave our homes?”

Asked about the dislocation of tribals from the land assigned for the construction of AIIMS, he said, “This is the fourth time that we are being harassed and forcibly displaced.”

Zahid urged the government to redress their grievances at the earliest and pressed for the implementation of centre’s Forest Rights Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the BJP has opposed implementation of Forest Right Act, citing state’s special status.