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Title documents of Jawahar Bagh land in Mathura ‘missing for years’

While the Jawahar Bagh, spread in 280 acres, continues to be in controversy due to encroachment and violence which erupted during the eviction of encroachers, it has now surfaced that title documents proving it to be a government land have been missing for years.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2016 21:23 IST
Hindustan Times
Jawahar Bagh,Mathura,Encroachment
Inside the Jawahar Bagh that was opened for the public in Mathura on Monday. (PTI)

While Mathura’s Jawahar Bagh, spread across 280 acres, continues to be in spotlight due to the violence which erupted during the eviction of encroachers, it has now emerged that title documents which proves it to be a government land have been missing for years.

The documents are neither at tehsil level in Mathura nor at commissionary level. The documents are also missing from revenue board in Lucknow.

Jawahar Bagh, located in the heart of the city with major government offices in the vicinity, had been in headlines for illegal possession by those claiming themselves to be ‘satyagrahis’ with unusual demands. Various attempts to get Jawahar Bagh vacated failed, and violence erupted during the eviction of encroachers on June 2, leaving two police officers and two dozen squatters dead.

Raj Kumar Singh Yadav, tehsildar, Sadar, admitted that ‘khatauni’, the title document of Jawahar Bagh, was missing even before he joined the office about one and a half years ago.

“This ‘khatauni’ is not available at tehsil level and is not even with the revenue board in Lucknow,” he stated while indicating that complaints might have been made in this regard.

Two-time president of Mathura Bar Association, Vijay Pal Singh Tomar said the title document for Jawahar Bagh was missing. “Maybe because of this reason, those occupying Jawahar Bagh were hoping that the land might be leased to them for 99 years by the state government,” he added.

Vijay Pal Singh had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in high court against illegal possession by cult members led by Ram Vriksha Yadav. He had also filed contempt proceedings when no action was taken against the encroachers.

When contacted, additional district magistrate (executive), Mathura, AK Awasthi stated that the missing khatauni would not come in the way of proving Jawahar Bagh land as government land. “The land is not covered under UP Zamindari Abolition and Land Revenue Act and thus being a non-ZA land, the prime documents are ‘khewat’ and ‘khasra’ which are available with us,” the ADM (executive) said.

“We have ‘khewat’ and ‘khasra’ which are prime documents for such a land and being a ‘nazool land’, it is in possession of horticulture department at present,” added Awasthi.

However, Praveen Kumar Rawat, a lawyer for revenue cases, had a different view. He said ‘khatauni’ was a prime document for title and that it had gone missing was a serious lapse, and could create problems.

First Published: Jun 10, 2016 21:23 IST