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Protesting Quetta Lawyer Requests CJP, Army Chief To Help Him Over Land Grabbing

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A 70-year-old lawyer from Quetta has appealed to Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and army chief General Qamar Javed to provide him justice over alleged encroachment upon his property by land mafia.

Advocate Muhammad Yaqoob has also been on a hunger strike in the bar room of the Balochistan High Court for several days, reported Dawn.

According to the lawyer, over 100,000 square feet [90 acres] of land in Nawan Killi was occupied by the land mafia and the construction work on the property was in full swing in spite of the orders by a court. He alleged police were also not helping him as the land was occupied by influential people.

“The Balochistan High Court and two civil courts have cancelled 60,000 transfers, yet construction is being carried out by the land mafia,” he said, adding that the officials of the Balochistan Bar Council and the Balochistan Bar Association are being pressured not to solve my problems.

The lawyer demanded that the land that was transferred to him in 2010 through a civil court decree be retrieved from the possession of the mafia who had seized it.

According to the lawyer, after days of hunger strike, his health was deteriorating but the authorities have failed to pay heed to his plea.

Anti-encroachment operations:

In April 2019, on the direction of Chief Minister Jam Kamal, the district administration had launched an operation against encroachments and land grabbers, retrieving land worth millions of rupees, said a report in local media.

In July 2019, the spokesperson for the Balochistan government, Liaquat Shahwani had announced a ‘mega crackdown’ against land grabbers in the province, saying anyone found obstructing the drive would be dealt with severely. He had said the government would take action against the encroachments on government and private property by the land grabbers without any discrimination.

He had said anyone who tried to obstruct the anti-encroachment drive will be deal with iron hands. According to the spokesperson, no relief would be provided to anyone in this regard.

According to a report in Balochistan Express, a protest was held in Quetta against the land mafia after they shot a man dead for resisting encroachment on his property. The protesters had said the mafia wanted to grab their land that resulted in a clash between the two groups.

They said had that they informed the police and sought security, but the police didn’t bother to help them. Police failed to act on time that’s why the clash took place, they had said.

According to the protesters, the police were allegedly complicit in the land grabbing scheme. Police, on the other hand, had said that it had nothing to do with the incident and vowed action against the culprits.

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Naya Daur