Army vacates land of two brothers after 19 years in Bandipora

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SRINAGAR — Indian Army vacated four houses and adjacent land of two brothers after 19 years in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

The occupied houses and land were handed over by the Army to the proprietors after repeated directions from Jammu Kashmir High Court.

In 2003, soldiers from 14 Rashtriya Rifles unit occupied four houses and the adjacent land comprising 23 kanals and 7 marlas at Bothu village of north Kashmir’s Bandipora. The property belonged to two brothers – Ghulam Nabi Reshi and Ghulam Rasool Reshi.

Both the brothers entered into a rent agreement with the Army for a period of seven years, which ended in 2010.

Senior lawyer Bashir Ahmed Tak, who represented the two brothers, told the news agency KKNT that after the culmination of the rent agreement, the Army didn’t vacate, prompting both the brothers to approach the court of law.

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The brothers filed a writ petition in 2010 that was disposed of by the High Court in 2015 with the direction to authorities to vacate the occupied land and relocate the unit of the armed forces to some other place. Despite the court directions, the Army didn’t vacate, forcing the petitioners to file a contempt petition in 2016.

After repeated directions from the court, the Army finally vacated the occupied land a few days ago.

The High Court Judge Moksha Khajuria Kazmi recently, while disposing of the contempt petition, directed to Financial Commissioner Home Department Jammu and Kashmir and Deputy Commissioner Bandipora to find an alternative site for the unit of the armed forces so that petitioners are in a position to shift to their houses along with their family members and not rendered homeless.

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The Army camp has been relocated to a forest area while both the brothers have occupied their houses and the adjacent land.

The court has also directed respondents to release the unpaid rentals that are due to the petitioners as per the rules.

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