Protest against anti-encroachment drive in Jammu continues

JAMMU — Thousands of people, including women and children, hit the streets in Sunjwan-Bathindi on the city’s outskirts against the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s ongoing anti-encroachment drive to retrieve “illegally occupied” state land.

The residents’ protest comes in the backdrop of the authorities serving public notices asking violators to remove illegal constructions within seven days, officials said.

The protesters also observed a complete shutdown in the area.

Waving Tricolours and shouting slogans against the eviction drive, the protesters passed the main roads before staging a peaceful sit-in at a vast land adjoining the bypass.

Police were deployed in large numbers as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

The sub-divisional magistrate was seen requesting the protesters to disperse on the assurance that no residential homes would be demolished. He added that the district administration was ready to listen to their grievances.

Representatives of almost all major political parties, including the National Conference, Congress, People’s Democratic Party, Apni Party and the AAP, also joined the protest and demanded an immediate end to the “anti-people” drive.

The residents also staged a protest in the area on January 30 and had threatened to intensify their agitation if the government went ahead with the demolition drive. — (PTI)