The district police have booked 20 unidentified people for damaging public property after an alleged attempt to encroach upon a park in Model Town (Phase II) following a complaint by superintending engineer (SE) of the municipal corporation (MC) in this regard.
A team of MC officials visited the park on Saturday and started work on restoring the damaged park. The workers removed the fence put up by the accused, who had damaged the park, and reinstalled the benches at the place from where they were removed by the alleged perpetrators. A police team was deployed in the park throughout the day.
The accused had tried to take over the park as they claimed that the land belonged to them.
Meanwhile, MC officials have been looking into the record of the land to prove that the land of the park belonged to the MC or not. Commissioner Dalwinderjit Singh said that a case has been registered in this connection, but they were also looking into the record of the land. SE BD Singla said that Model Town was developed by BDA and was handed over to the MC later.
So, they will also seek help of the BDA in this regard and the picture would be clear by Monday only. He, however, said that there was no question of existence of private land there.
Some unidentified people had entered the park on Friday and removed the benches put up for sitting purpose and ploughed the land with the use of a tractor claiming ownership of park land. The locals informed that police and a team of the police and MCB officials reached the place and stopped the people from damaging the property.
The park is right in front of the house of Congress leader and former MLA Harminder Singh Jassi, he addressed a press conference and alleged that 'goons' tried to capture the park land under political patronage.
Meanwhile, a resident of Tappa Khera village, under Lambi assembly segment in Muktsar district, Jarnail Singh, has claimed that the land belonged to his family, but denied any link with the people who had tried to take possession of the land and said he did not know them.
He said that the land belonged to his father Baldev Singh and his uncle Sukhmandar Singh and, as both have died, their legal heirs were owners of the land now.
"Earlier, we were not aware that our family owned this land and we came to know about this only recently. We have sent a legal notice to the MC also in this regard and a hearing is fixed on November 28 in a court in Bathinda," he said.