Shopian: Speeding up its eviction drive, district administration Shopian on Saturday retrieved 15 kanal state land gobbled by former finance minister Haseeb Drabu.
The administration also reclaimed large swathes of state land and sealed dozens of illegally constructed shops in the district.
A senior official told Greater Kashmir that a team of revenue officials retrieved an orchard encroached on by Drabu.
According to the official, the farm was located in Pirpora village, 14 km from Shopian town.
“Drabu had appropriated the land belonging to the state,” the official said.
Drabu was the finance minister from 2015 to 2018 during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and represented Rajpora electoral constituency in district Pulwama.
Drabu is the second minister in the district whose encroached property was reclaimed by the government as part of its robust eviction drive.
On Friday, the district administration pulled down an illegally erected shopping complex belonging to former Social Welfare minister Ghulam Hassan Khan.
Earlier, the government razed the outhouse and boundary wall of the property owned by the wife of National Conference leader and former minister Ali Muhammad Sagar.
The official said that that they freed 406 kanal of State and Kahcharai land in Shopian on Saturday.
He said that at least 40 shops erected on the state land in the main town were also sealed.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shopian Sachin Kumar Vaishya said that notices had been served for the recovery of cost incurred in recent demolition of illegal structures in the district.
“The influential people who built illegal structures will pay for the demolition too,” he said.
Meanwhile, district administration Kulgam in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive against the State and Roshni land encroachers at village Chawalgam retrieved around 10 kanal and demolished the fencing of a structure belonging to Habibullah Laway and Ghulam Nabi Laway, who are uncles of former Member of Parliament Nazir Ahmad Laway.