Protesters Clash with Police, JDA Officials during Eviction Drive in Jammu

Reported by

Rabiya Bashir

Legal Data by

Bhavesh Seth, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

August 29, 2021

August 29, 2021

Updated on

August 29, 2021

Location of Conflict

Niki Tawi

Jammu

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Land Use

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

611

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Jammu and Kashmir

Sector

Land Use

On December 22, 2018, the vice-chairperson of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) and four policemen were among 18 persons injured, while 12 vehicles were damaged, in violent clashes with protesters when a joint team of the JDA and police launched an operation to clear encroachments on a plot of government land in the Niki Tawi area in Jammu. The police accused the mob of pelting stones and bricks at the officials.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had reportedly disclosed that there were about 800 encroachments around the Tawi river. At least 33 nomadic families - Gujjars and Bakerwals – living in the Niki Tawi area were handed eviction notices. The protesters accused the JDA of being selective. They told the media that they should have been intimated before the demolition drive.

“Where were the JDA officials when we were raising the structures? Today, when we have spent lakhs of rupees on our buildings, they are out to bulldoze them,” a protesting woman told the media. “Before razing our homes, they have to demolish illegal structures raised by former ministers and MLAs. Why are these drives selective?”

A local Gujjar leader, Choudhary Nazakat Ali Khatana, told the media that these structures are not illegal. “The locals have electricity and water connections and pay all kinds of taxes to the government. We also have ration cards and Aadhar cards to prove our identity,” he said, adding that the JDA targeted only Muslims and that the eviction drive was a way to harass the community.

JDA Land Management Director Devinder Singh Katoch told LCW that the ‘encroachers’ are issued notices every month as “we have directions from the high court to remove all illegal settlements around the Tawi River, stretching from Nagrota to Fallain Mandal”. He added that the eviction drives are carried out in collaboration with various government departments, including forest, revenue, irrigation, municipality and police, and was not the work of a single department. He, however, declined to comment on any political pressure to stop the drive. JDA Vice-chairperson Pawan Rathore was unavailable for comment.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Jammu and Kashmir Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1988
Section 5: [If the Estates Officer is satisfied that the public premises is in unauthorised occupation, the Estates Officer shall make an order of eviction for reasons to be recorded therein directing that the public premises shall be vacated]
Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act, 2010
Section 3(1): [Every water resource in Jammu and Kashmir is the property of the government]; Section 4(zw): [The administration shall prepare a State Water Policy and plan to meet the objective of imposing a complete ban on encroachment of water bodies, wetlands and water courses]; Section 38(1): [Any person may make an application seeking the restoration of water or field channel in case someone has encroached upon the same]; Section 83: [The administration has the power to remove obstructions and encroachments from the embankments of any water source]
Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Rules, 2007
Section 8: [Conditions for vesting of rights over land from the state to the occupants]; Section 9: [Estates Officer shall have the power to evict and the assistant commissioner has to give five days' notice for eviction]
Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001
Section 8: [Conditions for vesting of rights over land from the state to the occupants]; Section 9: [Estates Officer shall have the power to evict and the assistant commissioner has to give five days' notice for eviction]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, Jammu bench

Case Number

WP PIL No. 7 and 19 of 2014, WP PIL No. 19 of 2012

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

On February 12, 2016, the high court ordered the concerned agencies to frame a policy to address the waste and toxic water emanating from unauthorised colonies set up alongside the river. In separate proceedings on July 20, 2018, the high court ordered the concerned agencies to dismantle and remove both commercial and residential encroachments/illegal constructions made on state land near the bed of Tawi river. The matter is pending as the high court is monitoring the situation.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Lathicharge/teargas/pellets

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

The vice-chairperson of the Jammu Development Authority and four policemen were among 18 persons injured when protesters allegedly pelted stones and bricks at the officials during an anti-encroachment drive. The protesters also damaged 12 vehicles.

Date of Violation

December 21, 2018

Location of Violation

Niki Tawi

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Stone pelting

Blockades

Property damage/arson

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Jammu Development Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

JDA Land Management Director Devinder Singh Katoch told LCW that the ‘encroachers’ are issued notices every month as “we have directions from the high court to remove all illegal settlements around the Tawi River, stretching from Nagrota to Fallain Mandal”. He added that the eviction drives are carried out in collaboration with various government departments, including forest, revenue, irrigation, municipality and police, and was not the work of a single department. He, however, declined to comment on any political pressure to stop the drive. JDA Vice-chairperson Pawan Rathore was unavailable for comment.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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