Encroachment removal: HC pulls up Jammu SSP for non-cooperation

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has pulled up Jammu senior superintendent of police (SSP) Atul Goel for non-cooperation in eviction of encroachments on nearly 170 kanals of land in the city’s prime Gole Gujaral area.
The division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar has also asked the police to help the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) in the right earnest so that effective steps could be taken to remove encroachments on 169 kanal and 7 marla land, valued at around Rs 150 crore.
During hearing here yesterday, the court also expressed displeasure over the statement of the SSP, who responding to the request of JDA vice chairperson Sushma Chouhan had said that the police force is not available for removing encroachments till the election process is over in the state.
Pulling up the SSP, the court said that senior officers should not make such statements because it encourage land mafias at various levels.
The high court also called for a status report on the matter from the Deputy Commissioner and also directed the Chief Secretary to take notice of such violations and direct the concerned authorities like the Jammu SSP to maintain propriety of his office.
The court questioned as to who had authorised the SSP to make such a statement on behalf of the police in the whole state.
“… At a meeting of the Jammu Deputy Commissioner, the SSP and the JDA vice chairperson at the DC office, the SSP stated that police force is not available till election process is over in the state,” advocate Ahmad, who is pleading for a PIL over encroachments, said quoting the status report of JDA.
“This is just at the behest of those powerful persons, who want this encroachment to continue,” Ahmad told the court.