In an operation against illegal encroachment on Government land, the Yogi Adityanath Government has begun the work of demolishing illegal construction on 100 Bighas of Forest Department land by one ‘Pir Khushal Miyan’, located in Bihargarh village falling under the jurisdiction of Bhopa police station, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from the mosque and a shrine dedicated to late Pir Khushal Miyan, the authorities have so far demolished the complex houses, a Chillahgah (prayer house) and around 50 rooms of a lavish residential complex of the Islamic preacher’s family. The demolition drive began on November 11 (Wednesday).
The preacher had built fort like structures, with dozens of rooms and halls on the forest department land.
According to reports, the structure was constructed by Pir Khushal in a reserved forest area and was declared illegal by the forest department. On this forest department land, this Pir of Pakistani-origin had built a mosque surrounded by a fort-like structure with almost 400 rooms. Pir Khushal, who died in the year 2017, came to India in 1964 from Pakistan and acquired 100 bighas of land near one of the most revered ancient Hindu religious sites- Shuk Teerth or the Shukratal in Muzaffarnagar on lease. The lease expired in 2016. The forest department then issued a notice to the family living in the complex asking them to vacate but they refused.
The administration sprung into action after a letter written by Union Minister of State Dr Sanjeev Balyan to the DM ordered the authorities to get the land belonging to the Forest Department vacated at the earliest. Accordingly, the forest department issued a notice to Pir Khushal’s family to vacate the land. Even after the notice, when the land was not vacated, the administration started the demolition process on November 11.
As per a report by the Hindi daily Amar Ujala, on November 11, ADM administration Amit Singh, DFO Suraj Kumar, SP Dehat Nepal Singh RAF, PAC, along with police from Kakrauli, Janasath and Meerapur police station reached the Chillagah in Bihargarh at around 2 pm.
Though the officials cited the completion of lease time given by the Forest Department and the order of the High Court saying that the construction was done illegally, Khushal’s wife Nazia Afridi opposed the demolition.
UP police book the wife of late Pir Khushal Miyan and two others for occupying a forest land illegally
Apart from carrying out the demolition process, the authorities have also registered a case against three for allegedly occupying a forest land illegally. The case was registered against the widow of the late Sufi preacher Khushal Miyan and two others at Bhopa police station on November 19 (Thursday), PTI reported.
Pir Khushal Miyan carried out illegal fuel trade under the then SP and BSP governments
According to reports, Pir Khushal Miyan rose to fame in Uttar Pradesh during Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s regime. May influential politicians, as well as government officials, visited the Pakistani preacher regularly. People from many Islamic countries also used to visit him during odd hours, which raised suspicions about his manoeuvres. He is also known as ‘Kala Badshah’ among his followers.
In March 2009, CBI had arrested Pir Khushal and his wife from Ghaziabad under the violation of FEMA, but no action was taken against him. Some reports claim that Pir Khushal, who was politically well connected carried out illegal fuel trade from within his fort. Local villagers narrate how truckloads of LPG gas cylinders and at least 3 to 4 tanker trucks carrying diesel were transported in and out of Khushal’s property every month. However, under the then Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party rule, Khushal remained safeguarded.
Yogi Adityanath Govt tightening its noose on land-mafia
Now, in its effort to curb against the menace of land mafia in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has been tightening its noose on such encroachers. Besides launching an anti-land mafia portal in 2017, where people of the state can file their complaints against any illegal occupation in lands belonging to any private or government institutes and setting up of anti-land mafia task force to check illegal land grabbing in the state, Yogi Govt also identified more than 1.5 lakh people who have encroached upon government land.
It has been carrying out demolition drives on the property acquired illegally by many influential persons in the state including people like Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and dreaded gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. The UP government had also bulldozed illegal constructions done by gangster Vikas Dubey.