Srinagar: Admitting that in connivance with revenue officials state land was being encroached on, the government has asked all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Kashmir to form special squads to remove encroachments from state and Kahcharai land.
According to a recent circular issued by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, the government stated that it has issued strict instructions to DCs of all the districts to remove encroachments “on the state Kahcharai land in view of the fact that large-scale encroachments are reported on the said land by unscrupulous elements in connivance with the revenue field agency.”
The circular further stated that the list provided by the DCs in the case of Prof SK Bhalla Vs State and Others, 2011, in which details/particulars of the encroachers had been furnished and “action taken thereof with regard to the removal of encroachment on identified land” is to be shared with the divisional commissioner’s office and stern action has to be taken against the named encroachers.
The government further stated that all the DCs have been instructed to constitute special squads to remove encroachments from the state and Kahcharai land, especially from the river banks. It stated that the Tehsildars have already identified many such areas where land has been encroached on, and added that extensive efforts should be put in place to retrieve such land.
The circular further asks the DCs to submit fortnightly reports, besides warning that if any revenue officials are found to be hand-in-glove with the encroachers, they will be booked under law.
Earlier, in the recent Assembly session, the government had said that it was formulating a comprehensive policy to retrieve state/ Kahcharai land from the encroachers and illegal occupants by impressing upon all subordinate field functionaries to take adequate steps in accordance with various laws in force.
The government had stated that the list of individual occupants of the land was voluminous and thus was still in process of being compiled.
In November 2015, the state high court reprimanded the government for not retrieving 20 lakh kanals of encroached state land across Jammu and Kashmir.
The encroachment of state and Kahcharai land hogged headlines when it was alleged that three daughters of senior Congress leader and former minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din have encroached 342 kanals of land.