Tue. Feb 7th, 2023

Locals of Minawar accuse Gilgit administration of land grabbing, protest

Screengrabs from a viral video of the protest

GILGIT: Locals in Minawar locality of Gilgit city protested earlier today, accusing the Gilgit sub-division administration of illegal land-grabbing.

The situation got tense as the protesters blocked a road and stopped the administration officials and their machinery’s movement. The protesters had blocked the road using electricity pylons and boulders.

Prominent political leaders and local youth have vowed to resist what they are calling an illegal landgrab attempt by the GB government and administration.

A large contingent of police and paramilitary forces, Ranger, FC and GB Scouts, was present during the protest. Due to stiff resistance from the protesters, the official could not move forward.

Several video clips went viral on social media in which the protesters can be seen sitting on the road and confronting the administration officials.

The protesters said that the administration is involved in snatching the locals’ land by declaring them “Khalsa Sarkar”, a term used to identify lands that the government says belongs to the state. Locals across Gilgit-Baltistan have been opposing the Khalsa Sarkar law, a reminiscent of times when the region was ruled by the Dogra and Sikh invaders and occupiers. Locals believe that the law is being used to deprive them of their common ancestral properties.

On multiple occasions during the last couple of years have the locals risen against the administration, clashed with police and Rangers and accused the administration of using oppressive tactics that reek of colonialism when rulers could snatch locals’ land without their will.

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