The encroachment drive on 400 kanals of prime land in Gole Gujral colony here was being carried out on directions of the J&K High Court to remove alleged land grabbers and grant the plots to allotted people.
A combined team of over 150 CRPF, Police and JDA officials led by its vice-chairperson Sushma Chouhan launched a major encroachment drive to vacate the 400 kanal land, officials said.
The team tried to dismantle the structures on the land set up by Gujjars, who objected to the drive. They asked the families to leave and assured them that government will provide an alternative arrangement, officials said.
The Gujjars turned violent and pelted stones and bricks on the team, including CRPF and Indian Reserve Police (IRP), they said. The police in turn resorted to firing tear gas shells to disperse the mob amid anti-government sloganeering.
Seven personnel of the IRP and CRPF, including a Sub-Inspector of CRPF and two JDA officials were injured, police said, adding that a grass hut was damaged in the melee.
"The eviction operation will be carried out tomorrow as it was stopped this evening," a senior officer of Housing and Urban Development Ministry said, adding that the operation will be carried for two to three days till the encroachers are evicted from the land.
Locals of Gole Gujral colony led by RTI activist Balvinder Singh claimed that it was ‘an eyewash’ to remove encroachments and alleged that police and political parties are shielding the Gujjar encroachers.
On March 20, the J&K High Court had pulled up JDA for failing to check encroachments on prime land and directed it remove unauthorized occupation from the plots worth about Rs 100 crore in the city.
A division bench comprising justices Virender Singh and Muzaffar Hussain Attar had directed all the officials of JDA to disclose their movable and immovable properties within one week, saying ‘eyebrows of suspicions are raised about the integrity’ of the authorities and officials.
The court had directed Chouhan to initiate steps for evicting encroachers from the 400 kanal land belonging to JDA in Gole village and said, "It is appalling that the authorities of the JDA have failed to take possession of the huge chunk of the land from the unauthorized occupants.”


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