Video Of Demolition Drive Along Dal Lake Falsely Linked To Rohingyas

BOOM contacted an official of J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority who told us that constructions shown in the viral video are encroachments in prohibited zone and not Rohingya colonies as claimed.

A video showing a group of officials demolishing some constructions is viral on social media with captions purportedly claiming that the video shows demolition of illegally constructed colonies of Rohingya Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.

BOOM found that the viral video shows demolition of illegal constructions in several areas along Dal lake, J&K taken up as part of demolition drive by the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority through its enforcement wing earlier in June this year. We spoke to an official of the department who refuted the viral claim.

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The viral clip shows a group of officials demolishing constructions with the help of heavy earth moving machines. At few points in the video one can see locals trying to stop the officials.

A Hindi caption with the viral video translates to 'The colonies of Rohingya Jihadis set up under Roshni are being razed in Jammu and Kashmir'.

(Hindi: जम्मू-कश्मीर में #रोहिंग्या #जेहादियों की रोशनी के तहत बसायी गई बस्ती उखाड़ी जा रही है...)

The claim makes a reference to the Roshni Act of 2001, now scrapped. According to a 2020 article published in Indian Express, the Act had had been passed by the then National Conference government under Farooq Abdullah and it gave 'ownership rights to the unauthorised occupants of state land against payment of a premium'.

The video has been shared with similar claims from multiple Facebook pages.

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Fact Check

BOOM checked the YouTube channel Jammu Links News, the logo of which appears on the top right corner of the viral video.

We found the same video uploaded on the YouTube page on June 5, 2021 with the title 'LAWDA demolishes several illegal constructions, encroachments'.

The description section of the YouTube video states that a demolition drive was taken up by the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority through its Enforcement Wing in May and June. As part of this, several illegal constructions were demolished under the supervision of the Enforcement Officer.

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The channel also mentions the name of the areas where the demolition drive was taken up: Lashkari Mohalla, Doji Mohalla, Burzhama, Wangut Teilbal & Nishat.

Taking cue, BOOM did a keyword search with relevant words in Hindi and Urdu and found several articles that reported the incident. We found the same video uploaded in an Urdu report published in ETV Bharat on June 6.

The report states that the Lakes and Waterways Development Authority had demolished illegal encroachments in the Green Belt area that had come up during the Corona Lockdown.

Further keyword search led us to more articles on the incident reported by many local news agencies. While some carried screenshots from the now viral video, others had the same video. Click here, here and here to read more on the incident.

However, none of these reports link these illegal construction or encroachments to Rohingya Muslims or their colonies.

BOOM also contacted the J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority for more details. Enforcement officer Abdul Aziz Qadri told BOOM that the viral claims are false.

"They are local people of Srinagar. They are constructing illegal constructions alongside Dal lake which is a green belt and any sort of construction there is prohibited," Qadri told BOOM.

He also added that the demolition drive took place in the months of May and June.

Qadri gave us the names of the area of area where the demolition took place. " The demolition took place in Lashkari Mohalla, Doji Mohalla, Burzhama and along side green belt of Dal lake. When we were going to demolish these constructions, there was stiff resistance by the locals," he told BOOM.

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Updated On: 2021-07-19T10:55:52+05:30
Claim Review :   Rohingya houses set up under Roshni Act in Jammu & Kashmir being razed
Claimed By :  Social media
Fact Check :  Misleading
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