Large scale encroachments have taken place here as authorities have failed to take action against those “who have occupied the state land.”
Members of Civil Society Forum (CSF) here in Ajas tehsil of Bandipora are up in arms against the administration for failing to remove the encroachments on government land. The CSF members alleged that “some influential people including top government officers have encroached the state land in Ajas while concerned revenue authorities are ignoring this despite receiving several representations against it.”
The activists alleged that the revenue officials were helping their “favorites to encroach upon government land. Land grabbing in Ajas area is rampant despite the High Court instructions to get the land vacated from those who hold it illegally.” They said that despite the High Court orders to remove encroachments, local revenue authorities have provided free hand for people to “grab the state land.” The land mafia due to the official patronage has grabbed the land of many village in Ajas tehsil.
“The racketeers have occupied the land and usurped it due to government patronage even as public pleas have remained unheard,” said a local resident. “Due to the nexus between the land grabbers and government officials in the villages the encroachments have continued without any delay.”
Hundreds Kanals of state land has been encroached and among those involved include an official of the social welfare department and Block Development Officer (BDO), a senior official said.
The Civil society members demanded demolition of structures which have been raised illegally on the government land. “ A BDO has erected a wall on a flood stream which has been constructed using government funds,” said an official.
Chairman of Ajas Civil Society Forum, Kamaludin Rather, said, “ Many government agencies including revenue officials are brazenly overlooking the encroachments on state land.” “ Recently a protection wall was raised on the flood stream which resulted in the frequent blockade of water. Despite repeated complaints to the Deputy Commissioner and Tehsildar no action has been taken so far.”
Local residents of Ajas alleged that few politicians are even pressurising officials to go slow against the land grabbers. They threatened that they would be forced to launch the protests in case government fails to act against those who are involved in the incidents of land grab.
Assistant Commissioner Revenue Bandipora Masrat Hasim said that residents should approach his office and “no one will be allowed to encroach the government land.’’ “We will start removing the encroachments at the earliest,” Masrat said.