‘People taking advantage of unrest, making encroachments, doing timber smuggling’

J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said “certain people are taking advantage” of the ongoing situation in Kashmir and “making encroachments and indulging in timber smuggling.” Mehbooba said while protests were going on and processions taken out, “many people, taking advantage of the situation, are making encroachments, especially along Dal Lake and are also involved in timber smuggling thinking that the government’s focus is somewhere else .”
She was addressing a gathering after inaugurating Indira Gandhi Dental College here. “Situation is so worse in Kashmir and the government is very much focused there but still some people are busy in raising shops and houses in and along Dal Lake and doing timber smuggling,” Mehbooba said.

She said the government took strict action against such people. “We took strict action and removed around 250 structures (shops), houses. Not only poor, but more influential and big people were involved in this.”
She said if “we continue to make encroachments, the land will shrink and there will be no land left for making institutions and roads.” “If encroachments go on like this, where will we make our institutions and roads?” she said.
She said that Jammu and Kashmir is “passing through a difficult phase. The situation is worse in Kashmir and the government is focused but it should not be perceived that we have forgot¬ten Jammu. We are equally concerned about Jammu.”

Mehbooba asked officers to help the government as much of its attention is towards Kashmir and in the process Jammu should not suffer.

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