Kashmir News Trust #KNT
Coming down heavily on the government over the demolition drive, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said that a bulldozer should be the last resort and not the first response.
While addressing a press conference here in Kashmir capital Srinagar, Omar Abdullah asked the government to bring the list of ‘encroachers’ into the public domain.
“I am not defending those who have grabbed the land illegally but there should be a transparent procedure. Government should verify first and check the documents but that’s not happening on the ground. We saw this in case of Nedous. The officials didn’t check the lease document and instead said there is pressure from top,” Omar Abdullah said adding that under law every citizen is entitled to defend himself.
Omar Abdullah said that government itself informed the court that it has not issued any list of encroachers then on what basis bulldozers are used to vandalize private properties.
When asked does he see the rich and poor theory from the government as a tactical response, Omar Abdullah said that it is one more move to divide people. “Government has divided people on the basis of religion, caste, color, creed, community and now it wants to divide them on economic basis and this is one more step towards that direction,” he said.
Omar Abdullah said that for the past some weeks there is disturbance due to the demolition drive and people are anxious. “Few days ago a list was published by a section of media in which the names of alleged encroachers were mentioned. My name and the name of my party headquarters were also there. Even the name of Raj Bhavan, Army School, and other government departments also figured in that list. That list disappeared and another list surfaced. People were worried and my sister approached the High Court as we know the lease of the house situated at Gupkar is intact. Our name shouldn’t have been on the list. If this has happened to us, what will be the situation for others? Ironically, public prosecutors claimed in court that this list is fake as the government has not issued any list. These lawyers remained mum when asked to show the actual list. If the government has not issued any list, then on what basis bulldozer policy is being adopted?”
He said neither there is any list nor there is any verification. “The house of my colleague Ali Muhammad Sagar was demolished and he told me he was out of the station and no notice was served to him. I want to ask on what basis the government is using bulldozers,” Omar Abdullah said adding the government is not following any procedure and abiding by the law of land.
“I know the law, you have to serve notice that too in black and white. Show me the notice if you have served Sagar Sahab. This bulldozer has become a source of corruption now,” he said. [KNT]