CHITRAL: The administration of Upper Chitral district on Thursday evicted the people of Booni town from the land owned by the state in Kagh Lusht plateau and demolished water tanks put up by them for irrigation purpose.

Hundreds of residents marched towards the plateau shouting slogans against the government and administration, staged a sit-in for several hours and vowed to take the land back.

They said the land was the pasture of Biyar villages starting from Booni to Charun and villages of Mulkhow from Kosht to Kushum and its real owners were the people of the periphery and not the government.

They warned that any action on part of the government against those landowners would create a law and order situation. The protesters dispersed later saying they will return on Friday with more preparations and re-start construction activity in the area.

Assistant commissioner of Mastuj area Shah Adnan told Dawn that the residents of Booni were trying to take the law into their own hands as their attempt to take the possession of the state land was tantamount to renouncing the writ of the state. He said the local residents could only graze goats on the land in the spring season.

The AC said the Kagh Lusht plateau’s land was owned by the state in line with an ‘extraordinary’ notification issued in 1975, which has a legal status, and that the government would protect its every inch.

He said some residents had illegally divided the land and distributed it among themselves, so the administration had to take action, especially when they tried to carry out a construction activity there.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2021

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