Demolition drive held in market area of Bathindi in Jammu

The demolition drive in the market area of Bathindi is currently underway in the Jammu district of Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
Visuals from the spot
Visuals from the spotANI

JAMMU: The demolition drive in the market area of Bathindi is currently underway in the Jammu district of Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

The administration of the Union Territory launched an eviction drive against illegal encroachment by 'big land owners' and 'influential' people and nearly 23,000 hectares have been retrieved during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the Jammu division.

Earlier on Wednesday, during a protest against the anti-encroachment drive in the UT, People's Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Mehbooba Mufti in the national capital alleged that there is "Gunda Raj" there, after which she was detained by the police here.

"There is 'gunda raj' in J-K. It is being destroyed like Afghanistan," Mufti alleged. Carrying placards "Stop Bullying, Stop Bulldozing", the PDP chief along with party workers were detained who were taken to a police vehicle, a video showed.

In an earlier tweet, the Party alleged that "the Government is at war with the people. This heartless "Homelessness drive" initiated by the LG administration is focused to deposssess the people of J&K," a PDP tweet said earlier in the month.

The former chief Minister had earlier requested all national opposition leaders to raise the issue of a demolition drive across Jammu and Kashmir against its own people.

"In the garb of 'reclaiming state land' from 'encroachers'. No notices are served and neither do they accept proof of ownership. Simply inhuman & unjust," Mufti tweeted earlier in the month.

Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference chief Sajad Lone on February 6 hit out at the administration over the ongoing anti-encroachment drive during his media briefing and said that the drive would only result in more people being rendered homeless.

"We have no objection to the anti-encroachment drive if it is against big landowners. The big landowners will bring their lawyers tomorrow and take back all the encroached land. However, it's only the poor who are being targeted and left to die," Lone said in his press briefing.

Earlier on February 2, Democratic Azad Party (DAP) chief Ghulam Nabi Azad called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah to apprise him of 'eviction issues' in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a statement, the DAP said Azad met Amit Shah to apprise him of "serious unrest and uncertainty prevailing" among the public due to the "circular of eviction issued by the UT administration directing all Deputy Commissioners to remove the encroachments on state land, including Roshni and Kacharai."

Azad tweeted, "Met union Home minister Amit Shah Ji regarding land eviction issues in J&K. Apprised him about the prevailing unrest & uncertainty among the common people who are forced to vacate the properties which are otherwise recognized by successive regimes. Amit Shah Ji assured me no small landholders who constructed houses will be touched!"

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