Uttar Pradesh has decided to take action against nearly a third of the illegally occupied “enemy properties” in the state, The Hindu reported, citing government data.

Under the Enemy Property Act, 1968, properties left behind by those who migrated from India to Pakistan or other countries with whom New Delhi has hostilities, are referred to as “enemy properties”.

Of the 5,936 such properties in Uttar Pradesh, 2,250 are occupied, according to government data on the state-run land records portal upbhulekh.gov.in, ANI reported.

Out of the 2,250 occupied properties, 1,467 have been encroached on by mafia, while 369 are held by co-occupiers. These 1,836 holdings, which amount to nearly 31% of the total “enemy properties” in Uttar Pradesh, have been designated as illegally occupied.

In addition, 424 properties are occupied by tenants who got them on rent at nominal rates during the tenure of previous state governments, The Hindu reported.

At a meeting last week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath directed the state Home Department to clear these encroachments and prepare a report on such properties. The government will also appoint a nodal officer to supervise the exercise.

One of the more prominent cases related to “enemy property” in Uttar Pradesh pertains to former Samajwadi Party MLA Azam Khan. In May, he was released from jail in Sitapur after being in custody for over two years in connection with a land-grabbing case.

The Supreme Court had given him interim bail in the case where he was accused of illegally acquiring a 13.84-hectare plot designated as “enemy property” in Rampur district for constructing the Mohammed Ali Jauhar University.