By Muslim Mirror
New Delhi: As many as 15 households have been asked by the police and patwari [official who keeps land records] to evacuate their houses in two weeks in Srinagar’s Nishat area, reported Free Press Kashmir.
According to the residents, on June 5, a group of police officers along with the local patwari visited the area and asked them to evacuate, adding that they are ‘illegal encroachers of land belonging to Surinder, son of Makandar’.
However, the residents dismissed the claims and said the land was transferred from Surinder to the tenants back in the 1960s to 1970s. And that the current residents bought the land from the tenants. The land was transferred as a part of the Land Estate Abolition Act, 1950 introduced by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
The act had placed a ceiling of maximum 22.75 acres on landholdings of a particular landlord.
The land beyond this limit was automatically transferred to the tillers without paying any compensation.
This was complimented by the Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy Act 1980 that had stayed all proceedings relating to evicting the tenants.
“This land was not permissible, according to the law, to be sold by the tenants, although many of us have affidavits stating that we bought this land, and many have a ‘mutation number’ as well,” said a resident.
The aforementioned laws were repealed by the Government of India through a notice in October 2020, almost one year after the repeal of Article 370 and the semi-autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The notice served to them mentions that the entire land belongs to Surinder but does not mention the entire land transfer history.
The notice has drawn reactions on social media from various people. Some of them have equated this measure with the Israeli model adopted to evict Palestinians from their land.
”It seems the Israeli Jewish model of illegal occupation and unlawful colonisation is about to be implemented in Kashmir,” Mumbai-based activist Samiullah Khan said in a Facebook post.