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J-K Panchayat body plans protest against anti-encroachment drive

Jammu: A premier body of elected panchayat members on Sunday threatened block-wise protests across Jammu and Kashmir against any “anti-encroachment” drive aimed at retrieving state land which is in possession of people for decades.

In a circular issued on January 9, Commissioner Secretary of the Revenue Department, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri directed all deputy commissioners to ensure 100 per cent removal of encroachments from state land, including Roshni and Kahcharai, by the end of January.

Opposing the order, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) president Anil Sharma said the revenue department, in the name of anti-encroachment drive, is all set to displace innocent people from their homes and shops.

“The organisation shall oppose this move. Not even a single PRI member supports this anti-people, anti-humanity and dictatorial decision of the J&K government to dispossess innocent people of their land, houses and shops which are in their possession for decades and in many cases for more than half a century,” he said.

Sharma said he had been apprised by the panches and sarpanches that officers of the revenue department are putting pressure on them to join the drive.

He said instead of providing houses to the homeless and sources of livelihood to the unemployed; the administration order has triggered fear and panic among people.

“AJKPC shall fight for the rights of the people on roads and if need arises will move to court to seek justice for people. We will also hold block and tehsil-wise dharnas against this decision very soon,” he said.

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