BAHAWALPUR

Protesters on Tuesday alleged that land mafia with the connivance of revenue officials had deprived them of their houses established decades ago by changing land records.

Residents of Chak 44-DB Muhammad Shakeel, Rafiq, Ramzan Gujjar, Ghulam Nabi Gujjar and others said that around a 200-canal piece of land in Chak 42-DB was allotted to Naseem Begum, the widow of Hawaldaar Ameer Zaman, resident of Masoom Shah area, District Jhelum in accordance with the Army Scheme. The land was later purchased by a Revenue Department’s official namely Saleem from Naseem Begum for Rs700,000 and Saleem got it transferred to his brothers Shahid Ahmad and Zahid Parvez.

Afterwards, the victims said, with the alleged connivance of Patwari Attaullah, Gardawar Muhammad Ramzan and Tehsildar Ghulam Ghaus, fake reports were prepared. On the basis of these reports, they added, the unpopulated land was exchanged with the populated and commercial lands in different villages including Chak 43-DB around Girls Middle School and graveyard near Yazman Road and in 43-DB Basti Jhok Muhammad Hussain Baloch, and transferred to their names. The affected people had got a stay order from the court but former DCO Naeem Rauf presented the report in the court against them, said Shahid and Zahid.

They further said that the facts were kept hidden by the officials about the exchange of lands. They also alleged that revenue official Saleem had abused his powers and along with police bulldozed the 25-year-old colony. They said that the demolition had made hundreds of people homeless. They said that before the demolition, they were not issued notices and even not allowed to save their luggage. During the protest, the residents appealed to the higher authorities to provide them with justice.