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Ghazni police chief warns land grabbers

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  Ghazni police chief on Monday vowed to protect state-owned lands, which is increasingly targeted by land grabbers.

Warning land grabbers of strict action, Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhil told newsmen that no one would dare to usurp government lands in the future as the police was ready to send behind bars the usurpers.

He confirmed that thousands acres of land had been grabbed in the province, but he warned that similar crime committed in the past would not be allowed in the future. He said that mafia groups and powerful individuals were involved in land grabbing. “Common people cannot do so,” he said, referring to the land grabbing. He did not disclose any names involved in the land grabbing.

“At least 150,000 acres of land had been illegally occupied by strongmen and mafia groups in the province,” a provincial council member, Abdul Jamay Jamay, was quoted by Pajhwok Afghan News as saying.

He said that public lands are still grabbed and the government could not prevent mafia groups from usurping the lands, adding that if the government remained silenced over the issue, the day would not be far to see that public property usurped by the land mafia.

A tribal elder in Ghazni city, Khalilullah Hottak, said that besides Ghazni City, public land had been usurped in Jaghori, Malistan, Nahur, Gilan, Maqur, Andar and Deh Yak districts. He said private land of nomads had also been usurped.

This comes at a time when Afghanistan Freedom House on Sunday said that 1.9 million acres of state lands have been grabbed by powerful individuals in 18 provinces in the past 10 years.

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