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Order to demolish BJP leader’s house near army garrison, former Deputy CM says ‘jihadi group after me’

The Jammu Development Authority has sent a notice to former deputy Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Nirmal Singh, asking him to remove the illegally constructed house within five days.

The JDA in a notice, dated 08-12-2021, reads that in case the illegal construction is not removed within five days, the JDA will utilise its enforcement wing for the removal.

Singh and his wife have been asked to demolish their bungalow at Ban village near an Army ammunition sub-depot in Nagrota, stating that it has been constructed without permission from the competent authority.

The demolition notice served to Singh under section 7 (3) of control of Building Operation Act, 1988, reads that Singh has not attained valid permission from the competent authority as prescribed under law.

“Now, therefore in exercise of the power conferred under section 7 (3) Control of Building Operation Act, 1988 read with Resolution No. JDA/CTP/BPC/26-B dated: 06-10-2007 of the Building Operations Controlling Authority Jammu Local Area you are hereby directed to remove the illegal construction on your own level within five days from the date of issuance of the order, “reads the notice.

“If you fail to remove the illegal construction with the stipulated period of time the same shall be demolished by the enforcement wing of JDA and the cost of removal shall be recovered from you as arrears of land revenue,” the notice further reads.

Singh and his family had moved into their newly constructed independent bungalow, built on a 2,000-square metre plot, on July 23.

The move came despite court orders in May 2018 directing authorities to ensure “strict implementation” of a 2015 government notification barring the general public from construction within 1,000 yards of defence works.

The High Court order was in response to a writ petition filed by the Union government challenging the construction of the bungalow, stating it was just 580 yards from the perimeter boundary wall of the sub-depot.

The petition was filed after civil and police officials did not stop construction activity despite written requests from top Army officials at Nagrota-based 16 Corps Headquarters.

A month after construction started on the plot in October 2017, the Army had asked the then Jammu Deputy Commissioner in a letter to order the police and civil administration to stop the activity, stating that it was in violation of the Works of Defence Act, 1903. No action was taken.

Claiming that he was being “singled out”, Nirmal Singh told The Indian Express said: “There are thousands of houses being constructed in Jammu even today, but a jihadi group has been after me. They don’t look at Bathindi, how the houses of (NC leaders) Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have come up there. There should be a rule of law, but why am I being singled out?’’
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Singh did not elaborate on the allegations or provide any details of the “jihadi group” he was referring to.

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