SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir administration led by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha is likely to come up with a formal order in a week’s time, ensuring protection for the poor and common masses during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive aimed at retrieving the land grabbed by the influential people in the past.

Sources in the LG administration told the news agency KNO that senior BJP leaders of the J&K unit of the party have made personal requests about protecting the poor and common masses during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive going on across J&K.

“I met LG sahib in person and requested him to spare the people having grabbed or constructed homes on state land measuring 8 to 10 marlas. I requested him to fix a nominal registration fee for them so that they are not rendered homeless,” BJP General Secretary and the party’s Kashmir Affairs in-charge Sunil Sharma told the news agency KNO.

He said that during his conversation with the LG, it was decided that “influential won’t be spared and the land grabbed by them in the past will be retrieved at any cost.” “The LG told me that even though he has reiterated time and again that the poor won’t be touched and the influential won’t be spared, he would think about issuing a formal order in this regard,” he said.

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Sharma said that he was hopeful that the LG administration may issue a formal order in this regard within a week’s time. “The order may have a mention about the registration fee for the poor having possession of state land up to 10 marlas,” he said.

Another BJP leader, wishing not to be named, said that on behalf of the party, he too has urged the LG administration to spare the poor during the ongoing anti-encroachment drive. “Though it is up to the government to finalize whether they would keep 10 marlas as the limit for having the state land for the poor lot who have constructed their homes or bring the number down to five marlas or so. This is a matter of discussion and is being currently discussed by the Revenue officials and other officials of the LG-led administration seriously,” the leader said, adding that “we expect a formal order shortly in this regard.”

J&K BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur said several delegations of farmers and poor people from Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir came to the BJP office in Srinagar with a request that they have constructed homes on just 5, 8 and 10 marlas of state land and if they would be evicted, where would they go.

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“We have requested the LG sir not to touch the poor but go hard against the politicians, especially all 34 former ministers whose names have surfaced in the list of land grabbers,” he said.

Congress party’s J&K unit too had vociferously opposed the eviction drive of the LG-led administration and sought a formal order mentioning protection for the poor and farmers.

Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi also expressed his displeasure over the J&K administration’s anti-eviction drive. In his press conference at Srinagar during Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul said that “poor are being left homeless and farmer’s land is being snatched during the eviction drive of the J&K administration.”

In J&K’s anti-encroachment drive, action has been taken against former ministers and officers. “The list of land grabbers is so long that it will take years to retrieve the land. The drive is on as per the directions from the LG office,” an official said, wishing not to be named.

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