Helmand Education Dept’s land grabbed
The land had been occupied illegally in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, as well as districts, Education Director Mohammad Nasim Sapi said during an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News.
Another 1,000 acres of land, meant for distribution to schoolteachers, also ran the risk of being grabbed by strongmen, the director warned, saying most of the department’s properties had been seized in Marja, Nad Ali, Garmser and Kajaki districts.
A school building in Marja district was razed 20 days back when a local staked claim to the land’s ownership, Sapi said. Another school in Kajaki town is faced with similar fate.
The incidents had increased after he recently complained to President Hamid Karzai during a visit to Lashkargah about houses built on Education Department’s land, the director recalled.
He quoted the president as telling him that homes could not be torn down, something that encouraged gunmen to continue with the practice.
Resident Inzar Gul alleged that half of a school that was built close to a government-owned farm in Marja district three years ago had been demolished by a man, who called it his personal property.
Tribal elder Haji Omar confirmed 2.5 acres of land allocated for a school had been occupied unlawfully. Some powerful individuals involved in the sordid practice would be exposed soon, he promised.
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