Srinagar, July 16 : Some “unscrupulous people” have in the guise of Eidgah encroached upon tourism land at Chandigam area of Lolab in north-Kashmir’s Kupwara district, locals said.
They said the land was occupied by some “unscrupulous people”, three months ago, erected a pulpit on the ground while a signboard was displayed by them on the periphery to meet their interests. The encroached upon land is lying just opposite to the tourist hut in Chandigam, they said.
Ghulam Hassan Lone Sarpanch Halqa (B) while talking to news agency said: “Everyone here knows that this is Kahcharai land. We already have two Eidgahs and there is no need for the third one.”
Even the local cleric denied them the permission in his ruling to make it an Eidgah, he said. “They didn’t pay any heed even after the Mufti Sahib’s ruling and went on and barricaded the land to fake its genuineness.”
“We even approached the Commissioner Secretary and naib Tehsildar to free the land from the clutches of these people but nothing was done,” he said.
Seconding the statement of his fellow, another Panch member Abdul Ahad Lone said that the land was state property under tourism department.
Ghulam Hassan Khan, Panch Ward No. 6 said that the land was encroached upon by some people to just “protect their walnut trees and nothing else.”
Locals present at the spot unequivocally seconded the statements of Panchayat members and urged the district administration to take ‘stringent measures to retain the encroached upon land to its original form.’
When contacted DC Kupwara Anshul Gargh told that state land, be it forest or Kahcharai, shall not be allowed to be encroached upon. “Whenever any information comes to our knowledge, we depute a team to assess the ground situation,” he said, adding, “I even myself go alongside the team to remove any encroachments if found anywhere.”
The official assured that the encroachments in this particular case will be removed within two days. “We have given them a two day period to remove these encroachments, the officered said, adding, “if they don’t, we will start it on our own.”
Meanwhile, SDM Sogam Ahmad Hussain on Tuesday visited the spot and dismantled the erected pulpit in the ground as also the signboard. (GNS)