Dehradun | The eviction of 17 families living for decades at the Kabul House, where Afghanistan's exiled king Mohd Yakub Khan lived from 1879 till his death in 1923, began on Thursday following a court order.
The historic building -- spread over 19 bighas of land and estimated to be worth more than Rs 400 crore -- on EC Road here was declared an "enemy property" after the Partition when the king's descendants migrated to Pakistan.
The eviction began following a 40-year legal battle between the district administration and the residents.
City Magistrate Pratyush Singh said the eviction followed an order of the district court and an advance notice was given to them to vacate the premises.
However, residents claimed that the court notice to vacate the building within two weeks was served to them late and they did not have enough time to vacate it. They said they were taken aback on Thursday when police personnel arrived at the building for evicting them.
"They began removing our belongings from the building and sealing the premises. There are children and the elderly, who suffered a lot of inconvenience due to the sudden action," said Bina Kumari, a resident of Kabul House, which is located in the heart of the city.
"The notice in which we had been asked to vacate the building within two weeks was issued on October 17 but served to us late on October 25 during the Puja holidays when it was difficult to vacate the premises," she added.
Some of the families have approached the Uttarakhand High Court seeking an extension of the two-week deadline to vacate the property till December 1. They claimed that the high court has already granted them an extension.
When asked about the high court's extension order, the city magistrate said that the action is being carried out as the administration has not received any order yet.