Early Times Newspaper Jammu
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PDA foils Ex MLA's land grab attempt in Pahalgam
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report

Anantnag, Aug 2: Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) on Sunday foiled an attempt of land grabbing by a former legislator near Hotel Natraj. Reports said that a group of labourers this morning were trying to fence the prized government land near Hotel Natraj when a squad of Pahalgam Development Authority arrived on the spot and chased them away. "PDA squad asked them to stop the work and leave the spot as soon as possible." Eyewitness told Early Times. They accused former MLA Rafi Ahmad Mir, who holds the post of General Secretary in Peoples Democratic Party of grabbing the prized state land measuring about 30 Kanals. "A group of people of Pahalgam also informed Pahalgam Development Authority officials and Revenue department and sought immediate action after they spotted the labourers erecting poles on the land," they added. "We have obtained the revenue records through Right to Information Act (RTI) which clearly establishes the fact that land near Hotel Netraj belongs to state," Mushtaq Pahalgami, who heads the Unions in Pahalgam said. He threatened to launch massive agitation against the land grabbing if the concerned departments showed any delay in initiating action against the influential PDP leader. Revenue officials at Pahalgam maintain that land in the question is state property. "Actually Rafi has sold his land to Hotel Hilltop now he is trying to grab the land. Earlier in the month he (Ex MLA) brought a Gujjar family and managed to construct a temporary hut for him on the land which is purely state land," a revenue official pleading anonymity said. A PDA official confirmed to Early Times that they foiled land grabbing attempt. "A group of people informed us and our higher authorities so we acted on that and stopped the work. We don't know whether the land belongs to state or him but due to PIL PDA can't allow fencing or any other kind of construction" he said. It is Important to mention here that land mafia has encroached upon hundreds of kanals of state and forest land in this famed tourist destination but so far as despite repeated requests from locals, forest or revenue department hasn't started drive to free the land from the illegal occupation of influential politicians, officials and land mafia.
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