A case for clarity
The anti-encroachment drive, though coming from the spirit of law, has not exactly gone the whole hog. The intention looks right but the actions have been a bit confusing. No wonder the public is confused too!
The recent anti-encroachment drive by the Jammu & Kashmir administration has been dominating the mind space of its people. The response to the drive has been mixed. Most people are happy if the retrieval of the State land is limited to the big sharks who grabbed such land in huge chunks. The UT administration has assured more than once that the
poor encroachers in possession of a few marlas of non-propriety land shall not be touched.
Immaterial of who has encroached upon the State and community land, we must accept with humility, that there has been no accountability and no respect for the law of the land for 30 long years of turmoil. The situation was like the proverbial ‘jis ki laathi uske bhains’. The big sharks defied the law in a big way and the small fries did that in their own little capacity. Both are, however, guilty of being illegal encroachers. The bulldozing of the properties raised over non-propriety land, no doubt, is an extra-legal measure. Due procedure should have been followed. But no, removing them with bulldozers has
not been the option. The properties should have been simply demarcated and sealed. But well, one cannot shy away from stating the truth. The truth is that there was absolute lawlessness and those in power abused their power. For the first time in the last 35 years, there is a sense of accountability which needs to be appreciated. We may differ when it comes to the actions taken but it looks like the intentions are aligned with the spirit of law. That said, there is definitely a section of officers in the administration who are law unto themselves. Unfortunately the vision at the highest level is butchered by a few. People are targeted selectively, which enrages the general public. All this may sound confusing but the confusion is real. One is confused as to how to present the picture. There are confusing signals. No wonder, the public too is confused.