SUKKUR: The Sukkur bench of the Sindh High Court on Thursday issued directives to Corps Commander of Karachi to retrieve thousands of acres of government land from influential land grabbers in the Indus riverine area.

The double bench comprising Justices Aftab Ahmed Gorar and Adnan Iqbal Chaudhry issued the order while hearing a petition about occupation of the forest land and vented anger over officials of forest department for their failure to take back state land.

The forest officials and their team of lawyers including Ali Raza Baloch, A.R. Farooq Pirzda, Bakhshan Khan Mahar, Sohail Ahmed Khoso and Shabbir Ali Bozdar told the court that as of now the riverine area had been submerged in floodwaters which had practically put an end to all occupations.

The judges were irked by the officials’ reply and asked them not to mislead the court as people would resume sowing crops on the riverine land once the floodwaters receded.

The court remarked that thousands of acres of forest land in Sindh continued to remain under occupation of influential people because the forest officials and police were hand in gloves with them.

Despite the court’s orders and release of funds amounting to Rs110 million by the Sindh government, the forest department has so far failed to retrieve its land from influential people. The court adjourned the hearing to Nov 3.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2020

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