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5000 Acres Freed from ‘Land Jihad’ Encroachment: Uttarakhand CM Dhami

Photo: Pushkar Singh Dhami/Meta

Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, said that 5000 acres of land previously encroached through what he referred to as ‘Land Jihad’ have been ‘liberated’ by the government.

Speaking at a ‘Ram Katha’ event in Delhi’s IP Extension, CM Dhami said that tough decisions are necessary for the betterment of the state.

Dhami stated, “For the betterment of the Devbhoomi, we had to take some challenging and tough decisions with the blessings of Bhagwan Ram. We have never stepped back from taking tough decisions. One of which was removing encroachments from government lands. We were successful in freeing more than 5000 acres of land by getting rid of land jihad, and the drive shall continue till all illegal and forceful possessions are removed.”

CM Dhami directed the state police and forest department to identify all such illegal constructions. According to data provided by the state government, a total of 3,793 areas were identified as encroachments until May 2023. Nainital district had the highest number of encroachments (1,433), followed by Haridwar district (1,149), Tehri (209), Almora (192), and Champawat (97). Most of these ‘encroachments’ were on forest land.

As part of an anti-encroachment campaign, the state has demolished approximately 500 Mazars and 50 temples. The Nainital district witnessed the highest number of such demolitions.

CM Dhami said, “The drive shall continue till all illegal and forceful possessions are removed.”

This initiative gained momentum earlier in the year, with the state authorities demolishing over 330 Mazars in 90 days. In March 2023, the Uttarakhand government, under CM Dhami’s direction, used bulldozers to clear ‘illegal’ Mazars constructed on reserved forest land. A survey identified around 1400 religious structures built ‘illegally’ on government land, leading to the demolition of 26 Mazars.

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