Kashmir is once more in an amazing turmoil. A video appeared earlier this week that confirmed the demolition drive by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities went viral on social media. Authorities officers struck at makeshift huts utilized by folks from the nomadic Gujjar community in Mamal village within the hills of Pahalgam in South Kashmir.

Gujjar activists mentioned the homes had been empty on the time because the Gujjar households who lived there had gone to Jammu for the winter. They use these huts for shelter once they return to the pastures of the Kashmir Valley in summer season. Gujjar activists say these makeshift huts had existed for many years and had been by no means touched earlier than by authorities.

On 15th November, after the video triggered turmoil within the Valley, Individuals’s Democratic Get together chief Mehbooba Mufti visited the realm and warned the Central authorities towards such demolition drives, which focused nomadic communities who had been “keeper of the forests”. She accused the federal government of driving out Muslim occupants of land in each Jammu and Kashmir handy it over to industries.

Kashmir: Gujjar community huts demolished by government officials
DNA India

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On 7th November, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities had issued a press release; {that a} staff consisting of personnel from Pahalgam Growth Authority, the Wildlife, Income, and Forest Division, the municipal company committee; and the police had “launched an anti-encroachment drive at Mamal Pahalgam; and retrieved illegally encroached 110 Kanala (5.6 hectares) of Forest Land.”

The assertion continued: “The staff demolished unlawful huts, Dokas, and; fencing on the mentioned land.”  It added that such drives would proceed “all of the state/forests; land can be retrieved.”

The demolition drive is a part of a current push to reclaim state land from unauthorised occupation. A couple of month in the past, the Jammu and Kashmir Excessive Court docket declared the Jammu and Kashmir State Land Act 2001, popularly often called Roshni Act, unconstitutional. The act had enabled the federal government to grant possession rights for state land to those that occupied it, for a charge to be decided by the federal government. The proceeds from such transactions had been to fund energy tasks within the state. In its judgement, the courtroom went on to direct that each one state land underneath authorised occupation be retrieved.

On October 31st, the Union Territory authorities additionally directed; the income division to “work out the modalities; and plan to evict encroaches from such State Land and retrieve the State land inside a interval of six months.”

The Roshini judgement and the federal government eviction drives have left hundreds of poor households from the nomadic Gujjar and Bakawal communities in an much more precarious situation than earlier than. Over the previous few years, eviction drives in Jammu have already displaced many such households. The Pahalgam operation suggests they’ve now entered the Valley.