Waqf Encroachments In Samba, High Court Issues Notices

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir High Court is reported to have issued notices to Government of India and Jammu and Kashmir administration in the petition seeking removal of encroachment of 800 kanals of Waqf land including graveyards in district Samba. A number of top officials including the Defence Secretary the Gpvrnnet pf India have been directed to file a response by or before February 10, 2021.

The notice was issued in a writ petition that was filed by Shamas Din, a resident of Meen Charkan (Smailpur) village falling in Bari Brahmana, Industrial Complex, Samba. The directions were issued by Justice Tashi Rabastan.

In his petition, Shamas Din has also sought that Jammu and Kashmir’s Revenue Secretary, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Samba, SSP Samba and Administrator, Auqaf Department Samba be directed to protect and safeguard 1721.8 Kanals of Waqf property in Samba district which stands duly notified vide SRO 704 dated December 31, 1984, SRO 165 dated April 20, 1985, and SRO 366 dated December 6, 12-2006 and SRO 533 dated September 18, 2016.

Advocate Irfaan Mohammad Khan who appeared for the petitioner informed the Court that “in District Samba nearly 40 Kanals 14 Marlas wakaf land has been encroached by Education Department, 07 Kanals 03 Marlas encroached by SKUAST-Jammu, 06 Kanals is under the occupation of Health Department, 17 Kanals 15 Marlas is under the occupation of PWD (R&B) Department, 02 Kanals 18 Marlas is under the occupation of Power Development Department, 09 Kanals 12 Marlas under the occupation of PHE Department, 01 Kanal is under the occupation of Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, 16 Kanals is under the occupation of Zila Sainik Welfare Board Samba, 05 Kanals 13 Marlas under the occupation of Northern Railways, 37 Kanals 19 Marlas under the occupation of Forest Department (Social Forestry) J&K”.

Advocate Khan referred to a recent incident in Village Smailpur Tehsil Bari Brahmana District Samba where a graveyard (Khasra No 03) measuring 97 Kanals and 04 Marlas was forcibly encroached upon by the land mafia on August 5, 2020. He told the Court that “Land mafia with the help of musclemen/anti-social elements made an abortive bid to encroach upon the graveyard land and started illegal construction during broad daylight and the petitioner and other inhabitants of the area brought this encroachment to the notice of the Administrator, Auqaf Department Samba and accordingly FIR No 172 of 2020 dated 08-08-2020 under Section 188, 269, 271, 447 IPC read with Section 51(b) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 was registered but there is no headway in the investigation”. Advocate Khan requested the Court that an Action Taken Report be summoned from SSP Samba in this regard.

Advocate Khan, in his submissions, told the Court that “there is free for all situation in District Samba regarding wakaf land and besides government departments/Agencies, the organized land mafia has encroached upon 800 Kanals of wakaf land in Samba district”. Advocate Khan requested that the Court to ask the government “to retrieve the illegally encroached wakaf land, fence it and put on signboards for identification and safeguard of the wakf land”.

Notices have been issued to Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Commissioner/Secretary to Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Haj, Revenue and Auqaf, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Samba, SSP Samba, Administrator Auqaf Department Samba, Chief Executive Officer Auqaf J&K, SDM Vijaypur, Tehsildar Bari Brahmana, SHO Police Station Bari Brahmana and others directing them to file their response by or before February 10, 2021.

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