Armed with cricket bats and willow sticks, a group of around a dozen children - aged between seven and eight years – marched into Ganderbal Deputy Commissioner Sarmad Hafeez's office taking him by surprise.

Hafeez said his staff at the mini-secretariat here informed him about a group of children wanting an unscheduled and an immediate appointment with him.

"The children wanted a playground for playing cricket and other sports," Hafeez said.

The children, unhappy with playing in lawns of their houses and by the roadside wanted a playground for their outdoor games.

"I was amazed by their courage that they had come all the way to meet a deputy commissioner and seek a solution to their problem. I was touched that it was the children who wanted our attention towards the big issue of land grabbing and encroachments," Hafeez said.

He said the children informed him about how some people had illegally held a playground – a government land - in the town and planted trees there.

"They wanted me to restore the playground to them. I thought I must do something for them and immediately directed the local Tehsildar (executive magistrate) to go to the spot and submit a report about the status of the land," the deputy commissioner said.

Latest News from Jammu and Kashmir News Desk