Jammu, Jan 13 (PTI) Apni Party President Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari on Thursday appealed to the administration to order a high-level probe into the alleged “selective” demolition drive by the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) against a tribal community.
The JDA on Tuesday had retrieved prime land worth crores of rupees from encroachers during an anti-encroachment drive with the assistance of police and the district administration in the Roopnagar area on the outskirts of the city.
According to the JDA officials, the encroached land in the posh area measuring over five acres was retrieved during the five-hour-long drive which saw some 17 structures including houses and cowshed raised to the ground. The JDA had alloted plots of this posh colony to locals and it was encroached by tribals by keeping their animals and constructed sheds in the plots of a colony, which houses former ministers and MLAs, they added.
Bukhari said that it was unfortunate to know about the plight of the marginalised nomad families during the harsh winter season whose houses were dismantled by the JDA in the drive which is being questioned for its “selective approach”.
“JDA displaced them by demolishing their concrete houses and cattle sheds without prior notices which is injustice and should be investigated. From the last several years, the people of Jammu, especially the marginalised section of society, have accused JDA for its selective approach,” he said.
Bukhari said that the allegations against the JDA must be probed by a high-level investigation team and Lt Governor Manoj Sinha must monitor the investigation.
“These kinds of acts create a sense of insecurity and mistrust against the government. There must be accountability and the displaced persons should be resettled appropriately by adopting a humanitarian approach,” he said.
He said that the Apni Party believes that the rights of the Forest Right Act should be extended to the tribal community and other forest dwellers in actual form on the ground and the poor people should not be made homeless for one reason or another.
“The JDA has become infamous for such drives in Jammu. It appears they do not have a proper development plan for Jammu. If several illegal colonies can be regularised selectively, why can’t the houses of nomads whose ancestors have lived in these places and protected the land much before the existence of JDA,” he said.
“There must be a planned housing as well as regularisation policy for the residential colonies without partial approach against anyone. And, everyone should get benefits of these policies. In the past too, they launched similar drives and majority of them turned out to be selective as they were focused on the displacement of tribals.” Bukhari also demanded that the colonies of tribals should be regularised and the poor should not be harassed again in the name of anti-encroachment drives.
As a welfare state, he said, the administration must act for the welfare of the people and should not put the people in unnecessary hardship which cannot be justified. PTI AB AQS AQS
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Source: The Print