Violence erupted in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani district after the administration conducted a demolition drive at the illegal site of a mosque and madrasa, allegedly on Nazool land, killing five and injuring many more.
What is Nazool land?
Nazool land is owned by the government but most often not directly administered as state property.
The state generally allots such land to any entity on lease for a fixed period, generally between 15 and 99 years.
In case the lease term is expiring, one can approach the authority to renew the lease by submitting a written application to the Revenue Department of the local development authority. The government is free to either renew the lease or cancel it — taking back Nazool land.
In almost all major cities of India, Nazool land has been allotted to different entities for a variety of different purposes.
Usage: The government generally uses Nazool land for public purposes like building schools, hospitals, Gram Panchayat buildings, etc.
Legislation: The Nazool Lands (Transfer) Rules, 1956 is the law mostly used for Nazool land adjudication.
Emergence of Nazool land
During British rule, kings and kingdoms which opposed the British frequently revolted against them, leading to several battles between them and the British Army.
Upon defeating these kings in battle, the British would often take their land away from them.
After India got Independence, the British vacated these lands. But with kings and royals often lacking proper documentation to prove prior ownership, these lands were marked as Nazool land — to be owned by the respective state governments.