At least eleven people, including six police personnel, were injured Saturday when a joint team of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) and police were attacked by the stone-pelting mobs during an anti-encroachment drive in Jammu city, officials said.
A Station House Officer (SHO) and top officials of JDA were also injured during the drive in Beli-charana Nikki Tawi area in the city, they said.
As the team initiated the action, mobs, mostly comprising Gujjars and Kashmiris who had built their houses on the encroached lands, assembled in the area and clashed with JDA officials and police, they said.
They said the mobs pelted stones and hurled bricks on the team and their vehicles resulting in injuries to over 11 persons and damage to four vehicles.
The injured included SHO Bakshinagar Naresh Kumar, a photojournalist and top official of JDA. All injured were rushed to the hospital, they said.
As per officials, there were over one hundred people at the time of the start of encroachment drive but the locals called other people from various places leading to a massive gathering.
After the violence, the JDA called off the drive to retrieve the state government land.
The crackdown was carried out in compliance to Jammu and Kashmir High Court directions, which is monitoring the case of massive encroachments of state, forest and JDA lands in Jammu city.
The court had pulled up the Jammu Development Authority and the revenue department for repeated massive encroachment of state land.
Those protesting the anti-encroachment drive questioned the authorities as to how they allowed construction of colonies in the area during NC, PDP and Congress rules in Jammu and Kashmir but “suddenly woke up now”.
They alleged that power connections, water connections and other facilities have been provided by successive governments but there were efforts to remove them now. PTI