Contentious land at Mansabal: DC holds meet to fast-track resolution

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By: Express News Service | Srinagar | Published: June 20, 2020 11:35:48 am

Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shafqat Iqbal chaired the meeting Friday. (Twitter/@dcganderbal)

After the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the downgrading of the state into two Union Territories, the Army, for the first time, has accused government departments of “encroachment” of defence land. Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Shafqat Iqbal chaired a meeting of top defence and revenue officials in central Kashmir to listen to the Army grievances.

“During the meeting, threadbare discussion was held on various defence land issues which is under the Army at several locations of the district including Manasbal Defense land, Chattergul, Wussan, Satran, Cherwan, Gund and Sonamarg,” an official statement said on Friday. “The issues that were discussed threadbare include encroachment, demarcation, mutation, derequisition of land besides permission for fencing at MES Hard Standing Sonamarg”.

The meeting was attended by Brigadier 3 Sector RR, Maheswar Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Farooq Ahmad Baba, ACR Ganderbal, ACR Bandipora, ASP Ganderbal, SDM Kangan, Tehsildar Kangan, Tehsildar Lar, Defense Estates Officer Kashmir Circle, Commanding Officers of Army and other concerned officials of Revenue Department.

“During the meeting the officials of defense estate raised the issue of encroachment of Defence land at Manasbal by few departments/organizations like Sericulture and SKAUST for which they also claim that land has been transferred to them for which DC asked the ACR Ganderbal to check the actual facts,” the statement said. “The Deputy Commissioner instructed the Defence Estate Officer, SKUAST as well as Sericulture to coordinate with Revenue authorities and produce relevant documents by virtue of which the land is transferred to their departments/organizations so that appropriate action is taken by the revenue department”.

The official statement said the Deputy Commissioner asked the revenue officials to fix the timeline for demarcation where ever required, so that actual quantum of land is handed over to the Army.

The contentious land at Manasabal belonged to Sheri Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and was taken over by the Army over a decade ago. While most part of the land is under Army occupation, it also stakes claim on the land still under the SKUAST.

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