Villagers took out a protest rally as encroachment and grabbing of land being used as ponds and graveyards in the rural areas of Mandi Bahauddin district continues unabated in Malikwal.

As no action has so far been taken against the encroachers despite the people brought the matter into the police notice, the villagers led by village Lambardar Zafar Iqbal took out the rally at Malikwal against the land mafia.

“Land mafia is so strong that complaints by the local people against these encroachments are not paid any heed by the official concerned. As a result, ponds of several villages have been converted into built-up area by the land mafia and the villagers have been deprived of pond facility for watering animals,” said the people and added that similarly, the land of graveyards is being occupied illegally.

“As the police do not take legal action against the grabbers, clashes between villagers and illegal occupiers take place resulting in loss of lives and injuring the people. In a recent such incident, former nazim Iqbal Warriach was killed when he tried to stop the mafia from occupying a graveyard land. Now, some strong members of the land mafia are building a farmhouse and shops on a portion of graveyard in village Ajjowal in Tehsil Malikwal,” they said.

CROP DESTROYED: Standing millet crops at 10 kanals belonging to two women was destroyed. Manzoor Bibi and Bashir Bibi, residents of Wara Chamian in the limits of Malikwal Police, alleged in their statements made before the police that Bashir Ahmed, Nazir and Ghulam of the same village cut the crop in their absence and destroyed it. They said that the police had registered a case but did not arrest the accused. They demanded that the higher authorities should provide them with relief by taking an action against the accused.