SHC issues notices to officials for alleged encroachment on graveyard case

SHC issues notices to officials for alleged encroachment on graveyard case

HYDERABAD: Sindh High Court has put Secretary Local Government, Mayor Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (HMC), Deputy Commissioner Hyderabad, Anti Encroachment Cell and other officials on notice in a petition concerning a graveyard of the minorities.

The 6 petitioners including Bhoota Imtiaz Masih, Lal Chand Ram and others who belong to the non-profit Rights Now organization informed the court during the hearing here Friday that their graveyard had come under encroachment. Through their counsel advocate Ali Palh, they apprised that the community was allotted 14 acres graveyard in Tando Yousuf, a densely populated locality in Hyderabad.

However, land of the graveyard had been massively encroached with only between 2 to 3 acres left for the burial site, they added. They pointed out another problem pertaining to sewage which has flooded the graveyard.

They contended that due to incompetence of the HMC and Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) sewage had engulfed the graveyard. They appraised the court that the petitioners made repeated complaints to the district administration but to no avail. The petitioners said their community held protests and hunger strikes several times but the only response they elicited from the authorities was their promises which were never fulfilled. They shared observation of a Supreme Court’s judgment with regard to the minorities.

“There is a general lack of awareness about the minority rights among the people and those entrusted with enforcement of law are also not fully sensitized to this issue either,” the remarks read. The petitioner prayed the SHC to direct the respondents to demarcate 14 acres land for graveyard, remove encroachment, to clean heaps of garbage and resolve the problem of accumulation of sewage. The Hyderabad Circuit Bench ordered the respondents to submit reply on April 22.