Jodhpur HC stays Anti-Encroachment Drive in Rajasthan’s Jalore

The Jodhpur High Court on Friday stayed the anti-encroachment drive in the Odwada village of Rajasthan’s Jalore.

The drive had started on Thursday. Justice Vineet Mathur’s bench announced the decision while hearing the petition of 29 people.

The petitioners’ lawyer Shyam Paliwal told the court that the villagers have a lease and other necessary papers.

“They have been living in those houses for the last 80 years since their great-grandfathers. The state government and the Central government have also taken welfare measures in these localities. Electricity and water connections have also been provided,” he added.

“In such a situation, we cannot be considered encroachers,” he said,

The High Court stayed the order to remove encroachment after hearing the side of the petitioners. Additional Advocate General Rajesh Panwar presented the case on behalf of the government.

Meanwhile, Jalore District Collector Pooja Parth said the entire matter was being looked into. The District Council CEO has been directed to look into it, she said.

Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also shared his views on the X handle and said, “It is not appropriate for the administration to use force to demolish more than 400 houses in the name of removing encroachment in Odwada of Jalore. This is a matter related to poor families. The administration should have given these families adequate time so that they could find a legal solution. The state government and administration should look into this matter on humanitarian grounds. I have also spoken to the Jalore Collector in this regard. We will ensure justice for these victim families by providing them legal assistance.”

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The villagers in Odwada, including women, strongly resisted a team of officials and police personnel that visited the village on Thursday to carry out the anti-encroachment drive. Eventually, an additional police force had to be deployed in the village to maintain law and order and to proceed with the anti-encroachment drive.

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