Property owners allege of harassment from Army

Owners of private bungalows in the cantonment areas across the country have alleged that they are being harassed by the Army authorities by taking advantage of the rules and regulations governing these areas which were formulated by the British.

“We are those Indians who are slaves even after 65 years of independence. We request the government to re-interpret the laws which were legislated by the British keeping in mind their interest,” said Raghvinder Dass, president of the All India Cantonment Bungalow cum Resident Owners’ Association. Dass owns a bungalow in Ambala cantonment.  

The Association, which was formed in 1910, held a two-day convention in the national capital which was attended by members from the 62 cantonment areas across the country.
These areas, governed by the cantonment board, include Army areas, private bungalows and some other civil areas.

The Association members alleged that the bungalow owners are harassed by the cantonment board officials on petty issues.

“The officials are looking for excuse to get the bungalows resumed. Over the last few years, bungalow of several owners have been arbitrarily resumed,” alleged Shyam Goyal, a resident of Jhansi cantonment. “We are the actual owners of the land. Several people own these bungalows for over a century. We have sale deeds and other related documents but the laws related to the cantonments are invoked to resume the bungalows,” added Goyal. The members asserted that they are not averse to parting with the land but there should be proper law which ensures that they are duly compensated.

The gathering — convention of twilight zone — was attended by Union Minister, Kumari Selja, and other parliamentarians.

“I hope such deliberations would yield positive result as far as solving the problems of the residents is concerned,” said Selja.

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