India foils Pak-PFI proxy bid to capture 'sensitive' Bet Dwarka; illegal Islamic structures razed in Gujarat

BJP leader Dhaval Patel said that there has been a demand to demolish these illegal structures. Total 52,000 sq ft land demolished in this drive

FP Staff October 03, 2022 14:52:18 IST
India foils Pak-PFI proxy bid to capture 'sensitive' Bet Dwarka; illegal Islamic structures razed in Gujarat

Hundreds of illegal structures which had come up on government land in the sensitive Gir-Somnath district and Bet Dwarka island, including commercial and religious establishments, have been demolished by the Gujarat government since 1 October. Twitter/@dhaval241086

New Delhi: Suspected to having links with the now-banned PFI and with possible cross-border links to neighbouring terror-exporter Pakistan, hundreds of illegal structures which had come up on government land in the sensitive Gir-Somnath district and Bet Dwarka island, including commercial and religious establishments, have been demolished by the Gujarat government since 1 October.

Police and administration have cited national and coastal security as the reason for razing illegal structures in Bet Dwarka since this is the infamous sea route for trafficking drugs and arms that fuel terrorism.

‘Encroachers are related to PFI’

The demolition drive in Gujarat comes within days after the Central government imposed a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its affiliates. The illegal commercial and religious construction, properties on the government’s land involved in PFI-related activities are being demolished in large numbers.

BJP leader Dhaval Patel said that there has been a demand to demolish these illegal structures. “Total 52,000 sq ft land demolished in this drive. Encroachers had a suspected relationship with the PFI.”

Patel said that in the first phase, action will be taken at about 15 locations. As per Bet Dwarka’s security team, over the past few years, illegal constructions and structures have come up on government lands which are on extremely sensitive locations.

A police officer at the demolition site said, “The local administration alongwith the police in Bet Dwarka surveyed the illegal constructions on government land.”

“We have started an operation to clear illegal commercial structures for coastal security purposes. We have also called police from neighbouring districts to maintain law and order looking at some sensitive areas,” District Superintendent of Police (DSP), Devbhumi Dwarka, Nitesh Pandey, said.

According to reports, local officials received inputs that the banned radical outfit PFI was active in Bet Dwarka and illegal activities were being carried out by focibly capturing government land in the name of religius establishments.

A report by ToI said that police have identified around 25 structures in Bet Dwarka of which some were part of the fish market. Some religious structures have also been identified and a decision on razing them will be taken after proper scrutiny.

“Police are demolishing the structures after analysing their threat. Simultaneously, search operations are also underway to detect illegal activities,” district collector of Devbhumi Dwarka, A Pandya, said.

Bet Dwarka and national security

A small island in the sea near Dwarka in Gujarat, Bet Dwarka is often used as a route by Pakistan and other smugglers to smuggle drugs, gold, fake currencies and arms. It is, therefore, the security agencies were keeping an eye on this island.

BJP’s Dhaval Patel said Bet Dwarka is just 58 nautical miles away from Karachi and also there were plans to convert nature and also usurp it.

The island is spread over an area of 11 kilometres.

With inputs from agencies

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