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Land around Samangan’s Hazarsum historic site usurped

Land around Samangan’s Hazarsum historic site usurped

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Feb 20, 2020 - 17:27

AIBAK (Pajhwok): Local officials say a number of local people have usurped land around the Hazarsum historical site in Hazrat Sultan district of northern Samangan province by creating caves for keeping their livestock.

Samangan information and culture director Aziz Rahman Qatra told Pajhwok Afghan News that the Hazarsum historical area was spread over 335 hectares of land in Hazrat Sultan district.

He said archeologists believed that the Hazarsum’s history dated back to BC era when people of the time lived in hundreds of caves.

Mohammad Amin Azizi, in charge of cultural heritage protection at Samangan information and culture department, said that Hazarsum was one of 65 historical sites registered in the province.

However, he said local residents had started usurping the land of the area and had built their own houses there over the last few years.

Some people had destroyed the caves with excavators and had built protection rooms for their livestock, he added.

However, he did no provide details about how much land of the historical site has been usurped.

Aziz said some parts of the site had been grabbed about 20 years ago while other parts were grabbed in recent years.

The government once in 2010 stopped land grabbing at the site but later people resumed grabbing it, he said, adding that the provincial information and culture department had ordered investigation for identifying those involved in the illegal practice and the governor’s house tasked a team with the same job a few months back.

The investigating team found 21 people were involved in the land grabbing of Hazarsum area and had built residential houses there, he said. 

Azizi said that investigations showed a person named Sayed Amir had built five houses, Mohammad Rahim, Najibullah, and Hazrat Mir were other people involved in grabbing large areas and excavations.

These four people have encroached upon 5.5 acres of land in Hazarsum site despite the court’s ruling that the land belongs to Hazarsum and the claimants failed to prove their ownership claim, he said. Azizi added that the four people had been referred to prosecutors for investigation.

Mohammad Hasham Modqiq, chief of Hazrat Sultan district, agreed with Azizi’s account and said the cases of those involved in land grabbing were being processed in relevant organs and all of them would be brought to justice once the investigations were completed.

Accused individuals claim ownership of the land

Haji Sayed Amir, who is accused of building houses on the usurped land, said that he had built the houses about 20 years ago while the provincial information and culture department claimed the land’s ownership in 2010.

He said not only he but other people living in the area also lacked ownership documents.

Amir said if judiciary organs decided to take the land from people, then the government should provide them land in another area.

Mohammad Rahim, another person accused of land grabbing in Hazarsum area, said that he built his house 12 meters away from the historical area and the land belonged to him.

Hazarsum historical area is located 16 kilometers north of Aibak, capital of Samangan province.

Mds/ma

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