Naeem Akhtar evicted from govt bungalow

Government today evicted PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar from his government bungalow at posh Gupkar Road here.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Akhtar said he was “not given sufficient time for moving out of the official accommodation”, which he was occupying since his becoming a minister during the PDP-BJP coalition government in J&K.

“At 11 am some officials of Estate Department arrived without giving any prior notice. They asked us to vacate the house till 4 pm on the same day which was logistically difficult,” said Akhtar.

“I along with my wife and daughter had to hurriedly manage the shifting process. I told the officials that finding a new accommodation in such short span of time was a difficult task. Despite this, I had to vacate the house immediately,” Akhtar told Greater Kashmir.

Akhtar was recently released from more than 10-month-long detention after government quashed his detention order under Public Safety Act.

Akhtar was detained after August 5, 2019 when Government of India abrogated the special status of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The government has already issued directions earlier this year asking former ministers and bureaucrats to vacate official residences.

When contacted, an official of the Estates Department confirmed that former legislators and other functionaries are being asked to vacate the official residences.

The official said that Akhtar was first issued a notice to vacate the bungalow in February this year and “we kept on following-up on that”.

As a routine procedure, the official possession of the accommodation allotted to him has now been taken back, the official said, adding that he was very “cooperative” and left the accommodation in a very “cordial manner”.

The official said the official accommodation lying with “former functionaries were being taken back to ensure sufficient accommodation for government officials as Darbar Move offices will re-open partially next week in Srinagar”.

“It is obvious that when a person ceases to hold a particular office, he or she has to vacate the accommodation. Many former legislators during last few days have moved out of the official accommodation,” the official said.