Agriculture Ministry demolishes houses in campaign against encroachment
Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid - YOUM7/Amr Moustafa

CAIRO: The Ministry of Agriculture demolished six houses Monday as it started a campaign to remove encroachments on ministry agricultural land at Nasserya village in Qalyubia.

The campaign, led by Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid, demolished and removed approximately six houses in Qalyubia, whose rubble was thrown into public landfills at the expense of the encroachers, the minister announced in press statements.

Nasserya locals accused the government of unjustly enforcing the law on low-income farmers while ignoring infractions by farmers with larger lands who employ armed thugs. They told Youm7 that those most in danger of expulsion are farmers who own tracts of less than 200 meters squared or those who have private houses but do not farm.

Meanwhile, security forces assigned to guard the removal process intensified their presence Monday, and Minister Abu Hadid said the campaign would offer encroachers “no complacency or reconciliation.”

Instead, the minister plans to draft a law to raise the punishment for encroachment to imprisonment, in addition to a fine worth three times the value of the land as well as expensing the removal of structures to the encroachers.

He said the ministry would continue its campaign against an estimated 1.1 million cases of encroachment in an unbiased way according to the available resources.

Originally published in Youm7.

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