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Encroachments of graveyard

Pindi district admin avoiding action against land mafia

* Not only violating rules but also committing contempt of court
* Claims that the encroached area falls in cantonment area
* Documents say cantonment board handed over land for graveyard to district administration

ISLAMABAD: Despite clear directions of the apex court to remove encroachments from graveyard of Dhoke Munshi Khan Rawalpindi, the district administration is not willing to take action against the powerful land mafia.

To avoid any action against the land mafia the Rawalpindi district administration has taken a new position claiming that half of the land had gotten cleared of encroachments and is under their control while the other half belonged to the cantonment area. However, the documents make it clear that all land was reserved for the graveyard and after some time it was handed over to district administration by the cantonment board, Daily Times learnt on Tuesday.

By ignoring SC’s orders the Rawalpindi district administration is not only violating the rules but also committing contempt of apex court.

The graveyard is located in NA 52, which is constituency of leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and PP-6 on which Chaudhry Tanveer’s nephew Chasudhry Sarfraz Afzal was elected and it is the responsibility of the these persons and the Punjab government to implement apex court’s orders as Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has been continuously claiming that only they have been implementing orders of the SC, it is learnt.

Daily Times published a report on August 1, 2011 that in Dhoke Munshi Khan located in Union Council 79 land mafia has constructed houses, dairy farms and other buildings on graveyard. The area comprises over 30,000 population that is half a kilometer far from the Airport Police Station. The area had an old graveyard, which was almost packed. In early 80s presidency and prime minister houses were located in Rawalpindi so former president Ziaul Haq gave a plot of 13 kanal having Khasra number 672 and 682, on which there was Pak Army firing range, for graveyard.

Later on GHQ issued a letter of no objection on September 25, 1986 stating that 4308 sq yd will be given for graveyard and it was decided that employees of presidency and PM House would also use that graveyard.

Later on both these houses were shifted to Islamabad so on December 3, 1986 that land was handed over to District Council Rawalpindi.

In 1992 District Council issued tender to construct boundary wall around the land but after that as importance and rates of land was increasing so land mafia started occupying the land and within a few years dairy forms and houses were constructed on over half of the land. In 2003 on complaints of residents, higher authorities decided to have inquiry of the land due to which on August 13, 2003 on instruction of EDOR, Tehsildar conducted an enquiry and visited the area and in view of that inquiry TMO issued a report vide letter number TMO/ TMA/R/ Rwp/ 328 dated November 10, 2003 in which it was mentioned that six persons had encroached the land.

Nazir had constructed dairy farm, house and shops by demolishing graves. Muhammad Rafique (who has been died) constructed dairy farm and houses. Raja Mumtaz constructed a dairy farm and also occupied land by construction of boundary wall. Raja Muhammad Riaz had occupied four kanal of land.

Miskin Mukhtar had occupied one and half kanal land and unknown five Pathans also occupied the land. After that report, Airport Police registered two first information reports from 2003 to 2008 under section 447/297 against land mafia but land could not be recovered.

Residents said that they filed an application with the SC due to which human rights cell sent a letter to former DCO Imdad ullah Bosal who is currently special secretary finance but he also did not take any action. They said present District Coordination Officer (DCO) Captain Saqib was given that order of the apex but he did not implement on that order and has been continuously changing his versions about the land.

A resident of the area said SC had instructed the Rawalpindi District Administration through letter number HRC No14747-P/2009 to remove the encroachments but administration of Potohar Town, Magistrate Kamran and others did not implement on those orders. He alleged that after orders machinery and force were sent for the operation but after ‘negotiations’ all went back.

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