Illegal occupation of girls’ school: Man killed, 12 injured for reporting land grab

District administration says land can’t be recovered because ‘encroachers’ have obtained court orders.

Rashid Bin Ameer September 04, 2011


Six men were arrested in a Khanewal village on Sunday for killing a man and injuring 12 others who had reported illegal occupation of a government school to the district coordination officer.

Talamba police identified the deceased as Muhammad Rafiq. The injured included Rafiq’s nephew Manzoor Ahmed and relatives Irfan, Ilyas, Abdul Ghaffar and Tauqeer. They were discharged after receiving first aid at a basic health unit (BHU) in Chak 18-R.

Talamba police station house officer Mehr Riaz Ahmed said he had registered an FIR against 12 men and arrested six so far. Those arrested included Mubashar Hasan, Iqbal, Tauseef and Anwar. The SHO said he had sent police team who were raiding nearby villages to arrest the other six men.

Talking to The Express Tribune, complainant Manzoor Ahmed said Hasan and his men had allegedly encroached upon the land affiliated with the girls’ primary school in their village two years ago.

(Read: Gambling with land)

He said the encroachers had been using a portion of the land as a cattle shed. Since then, they said, they had been sending their children to a school in another village. They said they decided to report the incident to the district administration only after the encroachers erected a boundary wall around the school land and started building rooms on it two months ago.

He said no one had dared speak against the encroachers because they were influential and enjoyed contacts with politicians. “We took up the issue with neighbourhood elders but they excused themselves saying that Hasan and his men would not listen to them,” he said. He said the land was meant for all village’s children so he, his uncle Rafiq and other relatives submitted a written application to the DCO’s office and obtained a demolition order under Section 32/34 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC).

However, Manzoor said, the encroachers had obtained a court order against demolition of the structure because no one was sent to the village to raze the walls and recover the school land despite the DCO’s order in that regard.

A deputy district officer (Revenue) told The Tribune that it usually took them some days to visit far-off villages. “It was impossible for us to send teams to demolish the encroachment as soon as the order was passed.

The village is located some distance from Khanewal,” he said. He added that now they could not take action against the encroachment as long as the stay order was not vacated by the civil court.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th,  2011.