„They torched our house after the war and drove us away, the usurper built a car wash and now he says he’s going to slaughter me“

Građani pišuWill my story be only a line in the grim fate of all displaced people, who, after being uprooted, displaced, and their property stolen, are now denied the right to get it back? Is Kosovo a society that strives to confirm the values ​​with which it adorned itself as a developing multi-ethnic democratic system, or will robbery, discrimination, superciliousness and selective justice prevail 25 years later?

My name is Ilija Drašković and I am an ethnic Serb. I am 35 years old, although I was born in Kosovska Mitrovica, I lived in Kosovo Polje until 2000, when they burned down our house and practically drove us away. We went to Pančevo, but I continued to visit Kosovo.

After my father’s death, we handled the probate proceedings along with my mother, and transferred our property in Kosovo Polje to me. Our plot is located next to the „Vuk Karadžić“ school. As of 2019, the Albanian N.N.R. (name and identity known to the editorial staff), illegally set up a car wash on my lot.

At the end of February (29th), I went to the municipality of Kosovo Polje, where they told me that they could not do anything about it, and they referred me to the police.

Before going to the police station, I went to my plot of land, finding the usurper on it. When I told him – „What are you doing here?! You know that you illegally built a building on my property,“ he immediately started insulting me – saying that I have to go to Serbia, that I have to leave. I replied that I would not leave because the land was mine. After which he started threatening that he would „slaughter“ me and my mother, and that we would „join my father.“

I then headed to the police station in Kosovo Polje. I gave a statement. The usurper of my property was called to come and give a statement as well. The investigative judge initiated proceedings at the Basic Court in the place where I lived until 2000.

We had a hearing on May 28. I hired a lawyer (the name familiar to the editorial staff) and now I’m fighting a legal battle to get my land back, bitterly remembering how they first burned our house 24 years ago and drove us to a place I had no plans to move to.

While I’m awaiting justice, for my property to be returned to me, part of which was destroyed, I felt the need to share my experience with the public, and I know that my story is just one of the many fates of those whom many insensitively and easily referred to as „displaced“ and „folk“.

Ilija Drašković

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