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Drive against criminal squatters

Encroachers with criminal backgrounds in East Singhbhum beware.

From February, the district administration will expedite cases filed under the Bihar Public Land Encroachment Act against such squatters, file new cases and start demolition of illegal structures that they have set up on the encroached plots.

Following East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal’s directive, senior superintendent of police Amol V. Homkar on Friday submitted a police station-wise list of criminals to Jamshedpur circle officer Prabhat Bhusan, Dhalbhum sub divisional magistrate Prem Ranjan and Dhalbhum deputy collector (land reform) Surendra Kumar.

Kaushal directed administrative officials to find out if any of these men figure in the list of squatters who have encroached on public land in the district. He added that the objective was to instil fear against encroachment of government land.

“It has been seen that even petty criminals, who are out on bail, flaunt their clout and resort to encroachment of public land. They then sell those plots at a much higher rate. The administration has decided to launch a sustained crackdown on such criminals from February,” said Kaushal.

Sources said the comprehensive list mentioned names of nearly 667 criminals.

“Kaushal has asked the officials to find out the status of such cases. Accordingly, those will be expedited and an order for demolition of the structures set up in the encroached plots will be issued,” said an insider.

Kaushal said the first phase of the massive demolition drive was expected to commence from the first week of February. “It will continue on the basis of the list submitted today (Friday),” Kaushal said, adding that the circle officer of Jamshedpur would be looking after encroachments in Tata lease areas.