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Insiders involved in grabbing govt land

Insiders involved in grabbing govt land

Mar 17, 2014 - 15:12

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): The Canalisation Department in eastern Nangarhar province says its own security apparatus is directly involved in illegal occupation of the department’s land.

Canalisation Director Ziarat Gul Rahil told Pajhwok Afghan News his department’s own security officials had a key role in paving the ground for the department’s land to be grabbed.

The department owns 11,250 hectares of land and so far 2,250 acres of it has been unlawfully grabbed, according to him.

“After long lasting efforts, we have been able to retake 750 acres of the occupied land, but 2250 acres remain occupied,” the official said.

Rahil claimed whenever they had sent the department’s security officials against illegal occupants, the officials reached underhand deals with them instead of driving them from the property.

He said they had time and again complained to the provincial police headquarters and the governor’s house against the activities of the canalisation department’s security officials, but there had been no positive response.

“Firstly, we have a small number of security guards and secondly when we send these guards to prepare cases against land grabbers, they opt to cut deals with them.”

Rahil called the security section bigger threat to the department’s land than the occupants, calling for the guards to be replaced.

However, another official at the department, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News the director had a personal grudge against the department’s security officials.  However, he did not go into details.

Provincial council member Zabihullah Zamarai confirmed large swathes of the canalisation department’s land had been grabbed by powerful individuals.

He warned if the government did not take timely action, the time was not far when the entire government land would be occupied.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Fazl Ahmad Sherzad said they would summon the canalisation department’s security officials soon to investigate the issue. He said the issue would be resolved soon, but stopped short of giving further details.



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