The Home Ministry is planning to auction off over 9,400 ‘enemy properties’ worth over Rs. 1 lakh crore. These properties belong to those who have left for countries for like Pakistan and China and took the citizenship of these countries. The process of identifying these properties and estates will be started soon, the ministry said.
The move comes after the amendment of Enemy Property Act, which ensured that the heirs of those who migrated to Pakistan and China during Partition and afterwards will have no claim over the properties left behind in India. As per recent meeting held with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, it was informed that the survey of 6,289 enemy properties has been completed and that of the remaining 2,991 properties will be completed in due course.
As per the report in The Economic Times, among the 9,280 properties left behind by Pakistani nationals, the highest 4,991 properties are located in Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal which has 2,735 such estates. There are 487 such properties in Delhi. The property left behind by Chinese nationals, the highest of 57 are located in Meghalaya, followed by 29 in West Bengal. Assam has 7 such properties. According to the new Act, ‘enemy property’ refers to any property belonging to, held or managed on behalf of an enemy, an enemy subject or an enemy firm.
With 263 such ‘enemy properties’ left behind by Pakistani nationals, Goa ranks 4th whereas despite sharing border with Pakistan, Gujarat has only 146 such ‘enemy properties’.
After the Indo-Pak war of 1965, the Enemy Property Act was enacted in 1968, which regulates such properties and lists the custodian’s powers. Following the claims of heirs of Raja Mohammad Amir Mohammad Khan, on his properties across Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Act was amended.