41 kanals forest land grabbed by RO on Poonch highway retrieved

RAHI KAPOOR

JK NEWS UPDATES

POONCH, May 14: In a very interesting and a rare incident, the J&K Forest Department team today cleared 41 kanals of forest land which was allegedly encroached upon by an official of its own department in Mendhar Sub Division of Poonch district.
Official sources told the that this entire prime land worth over Rs 15 crores is located on Jammu- Poonch highway and two structures had been raised on this land by the accused official (Shamim Ahmed I/C RO, Agrostology, Poonch), who has now been attached to the office of Conservator of Forests, West Circle at Rajouri. The Government has now ordered inquiry into the whole matter.
Giving details a senior forest officer said that during early morning today, a team from Poonch Forest Division evicted land grabber from forest land for area measuring 41 kanal 02 marla in compartment No. 149/M khasra 2274 & 2276 village Galhutta in Mendhar, following directions of High Court in WP 3406/2019 and Special Tribunal at Jammu after providing due opportunity of being heard and entertaining requisite revenue entries of interested parties and demarcation for the purpose of eviction of only forest land.
Sources alleged that illegal mutation on forest land had been attested in year 1996 for area 41 kanal 02 marla. after continuous follow up, in 2019, same has been got declared `void initio’ by DC Poonch and requisite entry in favour of Forest department has been entered. This is a prime land along Poonch National Highway and it’s market cost is around 15 crore, the sources added.
After long perusal of case from court of ADC Poonch, Special Tribunal and High Court, this land has been finally taken in possession by Forest department in presence of Executive Magistrate and Forest Protection Force Gamma unit-07 staff. It said all measures were taken to ensure that eviction drive is conducted in peaceful manner and accordingly no resistance was shown by interested parties. Two structure were also demolished.
CGI sheets and timber used in structure was also seized by Forest department to produce before court of authorised officer for the purpose of its confiscation. Since, area is prime location and very costly, CF ordered immediate fencing of the evicted area.
The whole operation was conducted jointly by Forest & FPF staff headed by Nissar Hussain Range officer Surankote, Arif Mirza Range officer Mendhar in presence of Executive Magistrate Abdul Ghani and Police party under the overall supervision of Conservator of Forests West Circle, B Mohan Dass, DFO Poonch Mohan Choudhary and Dy Director FPF Poonch, Ranjeev Sharma.

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