New Delhi: The anti-encroachment drive at Jammu and Kashmir which has seen significant outrage in the Union Territory has been put on hold by administration, it has been reported.
The Indian Express has reported that the J&K Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta has directed officials to take no further action without following some of the directions issued by him.
These include careful handling of the drive, compilation of details of demolished houses, and geo-referencing and digitisation.
The report says that in a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries, Mehta said the drive “must be carefully handled” and also that “if any house has been demolished, details of such demolitions shall be compiled by the Divisional Commissioners and furnished to the office of the Chief Secretary.”
In the meeting, Mehta also asked for proposals on how to use retrieved government land. The revenue secretary was asked to also provide a status report on such land.
A day ago Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had called the anti-encroachment drive an attempt “to divert attention from real issues.”
The drive had seen widespread protests across the Union Territory with almost all mainstream parties taking part in them.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s repeated assurances that only those who misused power to grab the state land are going to be targeted, had done little to allay popular fears as daily reports of demolition drives kept people on edge, Jehangir Ali had reported for The Wire.
Amidst allegations that the drive was unjustly targeting the poor, several had alleged that no notices were being served ahead of the demolitions.