Exiled Afghan king’s property sealed in Dehradun, 16 families homeless

Authorities in Dehradun sealed Kabul House on EC Road – once owned by 19th-century Afghan king Mohammad Yacob Khan. He was exiled to India after the Second Anglo-Afghan War in the late 19th century.

The city magistrate along with the police force on Thursday removed all encroachments from the site, rendering 16 families homeless. This means that approximately 200 to 300 people, descendants of the exiled king, were evicted from their homes.

The Kabul House case is pending in the Dehradun District Magistrate’s court for the last 40 years. In 2019, district officials also tagged the property as “enemy property”. Officials had explained the tag by saying that the people living in Kabul House moved to Pakistan after partition.

A few days ago, the court had issued orders to everyone to vacate the property and given 15 days’ notice to vacate the land.

However, Yaqub Khan’s descendants said that he never left Kabul House. According to him, Yakub had 11 sons and 11 daughters and only a few of them migrated to Pakistan, while most of them remained in Dehradun or Afghanistan.

Some residents who lost their houses spoke that they have been living there for the last hundred years. Some of them said they had received orders to vacate their homes just a few days ago.

Resident Rajmohan said his family has been living in Kabul House for more than 100 years. He and his family lived there along with the families of his four brothers.

The district administration says that the evacuation and sealing was ordered by the court.