SHO among 3 cops, photo journalist hurt during anti-encroachment drive -
SHO among 3 cops, photo journalist hurt during anti-encroachment drive
Posted 05 Dec 2017 01:52 PM

Three policemen, including an SHO, and a photo journalist were injured in clashes with residents during an anti-encroachment drive in Jammu city on Monday.
The SHO was later attached to the District Police Lines (DPL) Jammu.
Jammu Development Authority (JDA) officials accompanied by police personnel had launched the drive to remove illegal structures constructed by the residents in Gole Gujral area of Jammu, a police officer said.
As they were removing the encroachment, a large number of residents, mainly from the Gujjar community, carrying rods, sticks and bricks, attacked the anti-encroachment team, he said. Five policemen and a photo journalist were injured.

So the drive against land-grabbers in Gole-Gujral area of Jammu has ended in anti-climax. The SHO concerned has been attached for mustering the courage to enforce law despite five of his men falling injured in the attack by ‘innocent’ Gujjars, who had not committed any big crime. They had encroached upon the state land, costing a couple of crore rupees. They had exercised their ‘democratic right’ by hurling bricks, instead of stones, which is the exclusive domain of Kashmiri stone-pelters. No wonder, the Gujjar attackers will go scot-free like the Kashmiri stone-pelters. After all the BJP is ruling the State and their Interlocutor may extend some sort of healing touch to the land-grabbers as well. This is not for the first time when axe has ultimately fallen on officials or police for their only fault of carrying out bonafide orders. Earlier also, the police officers were made targets to appease criminals and their supporters. It so happened that a police team from Himachal Pradesh carried out raid in a Gujjar Basti in Bari-Brahmna last year to nab a criminal, who belonged to the Gujjar community, which led to protests on the death of a Gujjar. To cool down Gujjar’s anger, the SHO Bari Brahmana was immediately attached and the attacker Gujjars were rewarded with 40 kanals of land that they had encroached.
With one Inspector replaced by another one as SHO, what message has been sent across? Will the new SHO dare act against the encroachers, who have got yet another breather to stay-put on the state land? The will get more brazen, hardened and emboldened to retain the illegally occupied land by hook or crook and if that will not work by playing victimhood to the ‘sympathetic’ healing touch government.
By now, the Jammu and Kashmir Police should have come with the status report about the number of attackers booked arrested for attacking officials and policemen but it is vice versa. The top police brass is feeling obliged to have made one of its officers as scapegoat. The administration too has succumbed by ordering enquiry. But, who will explain as to what is going to happened to the state land that has been encroached upon?

Gujjars waiting to attack JDA officials during an anti-encroachment drive at Gole Gujral area.
The residents also pelted stones and bricks on the team and the photo journalist covering the drive.
According to an official, a team of JDA officials, assisted by a police team from Domana Police Station visited Gole Gujral area to vacate nearly 250 kanals of land, the part of which was encroached by members of Gujjar community.
He said that as soon as the JCB driver demolished a mud structure, raised on the encroached state land, a large number of Gujjars, who arrived on the spot from other locations, started pelting stones at the JDA officials and the police contingent.
Police, however, swung into action and resorted to mild lathicharge but the encroachers kept attacking them by stones and bricks.
Gujjars alleged that the structure demolished was a ‘Madarsa’ wherein the students of the community attend lectures.
Meanwhile, during clash a photojournalist Ankur Sethi, overpowered by group of Gujjars, was mercilessly beaten up.
The Station House Officer of Police Station Domana Rattan Singh Rana, Sub Inspector Nazir Ahmed, Assistant Sub Inspector Gharu Ram, and a JCB driver Suresh Kumar Sharma sustained injuries during stone pelting , said the official.
The Gujjars later staged protests following which a team of officials, led by Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jammu Arun Manhas, rushed to the spot and pacified the situation assuring redressal to their grievances.
In the meantime, J&K Police Department attached the SHO Domana Inspector Rattan Singh Rana for allegedly not controlling the law and order. He was replaced with Inspector Sumeet Sharma.
“We have vacated most of 250 kanals of encroached upon land but a portion was illegally occupied by the Gujjars for which a team was deployed this morning,” Rajesh Shavan, Vice Chairman, JDA said.
He said that some of the officials besides policemen sustained injuries during the drive and action has been initiated against the culprits.
“We have ordered enquiry into the entire incident,” Arun Manhas, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Jammu said.
He said that one of the demands of Gujjars to remove the SHO was considered but another plea of registration of FIR against the JDA officials depends upon the outcome of the enquiry.
“We have also held meeting with the civil society in the area so that the chunk of encroached land can be peacefully vacated with discussions and deliberations,” said Manhas.

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