Minister for Forests and Social Welfare, Bali Bhagat today justified issuance of a notice to former Minister and Congress leader Taj Modi-ud-Din which has asked him to allow demarcation of land under his possession in south Kashmir's Shopian district.
Addressing a press conference here, Bali Bhagat said that everyone is equal before law irrespective of caste, creed, region, religion or any other basis. He added that notice by the Forest department to a former minister is a testimony to the fact that action against encroachers would continue.
He claimed that this step has sent a strong message that the anti-encroachment drive of the forest department will continue with more intensity in future "and no one will be allowed to encroach even a single inch of forest land in the state".
Bhagat said that the Forest Department's action of retrieving forest land from land grabbers is being appreciated by the people.
He said 3200 kanals of forest land have already been retrieved from the encroachers since the formation of BJP-PDP coalition government in the State. Pertinently, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Shopian vide his order No. DFO/SPR/817-20/L dated 23/7/2015 has served notice to Taj and asked him to allow demarcation of land under his possession in Shopian "which was necessitated in view of an inquiry being conducted by the Vigilance Organization".