Harsh dares Govt to remove encroachments from Bathindi, Sidhra, Sunjwan - watsupptoday.com
Harsh dares Govt to remove encroachments from Bathindi, Sidhra, Sunjwan
Posted 12 Oct 2017 12:45 PM

Quoting the famous saying that ‘Cleansing of staircase must always begin from the top’ , Harsh Dev Singh Chairman JKNPP and former Minister has called upon the ministers, legislators and bureaucrats to come clean on the issue of encroachments before harassing or initiating eviction or criminal proceedings against poor, hapless, un-influential villagers, nomads, and other homeless people. He said that though the illegal encroachments on state and forests lands were required to be removed, the selective action against poor and marginalised sections, to the exclusion of privileged classes was highly reprehensible.
Referring to the selective eviction of poor masses including labourers, nomads and Tribals who were living in temporary shelters on forest and other lands in remote areas of the state including dismantling and bull dozing habitations by the Forest Department functionaries, Singh questioned as to how and why the palatial mansions constructed on forest land by politicians and top bureaucrats had been granted immunity from legal and departmental actions.
Pointing towards several cases wherein the poor nomads and indigent villagers had been rendered landless and shelter less due to their eviction by the Forest Department, Singh charged the very same officials of providing all support in encroachments to mighty and the powerful. He said that hundreds of such poor families putting up in the said shelters for as long as six decades were being dispossessed and their habitations dismantled by those government functionaries who had contrarily helped the influential by all means to raise palatial bunglows on forest land.
He was addressing a delegation of Gujjars and Bakarwals who called upon on him today to apprise him of the selective action of eviction being taken against them by the government. The delegation comprised of Gujjars and Bakarwals hailing from Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and other Jammu districts.
Making a particular mention of some of the prime residential colonies and other concrete structures developed by the powerful politicians by encroachment and consequent destruction of Forests, Singh dared the Forest Department to retrieve the forest land from the Ministers, MLAs, MLCs and other bureaucrats in areas like Bathindi, Sunjwan, Chowadi, Nagrota, Bajalta, Roop Nagar, Bantalab etc in the vicinity of Jammu city. He said that several thousands of Kanals of forests land had been encroached by politicians and their cronies in the afore said areas mostly belonging to other districts and Kashmir Division and who had raised huge residential and commercial complexes in collusion with the functionaries of Forest Department with the forest officers having provided even financial assistance for raising such constructions. It was a case of ‘quid pro quo’ as the Forest officers provided financial and other support to their political masters and got prized postings in return.

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