IG Crime orders PV in Budgam land conversion
DGP directs SSP to come down heavily on land mafia
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Oct 16: Crime Headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir Police has taken cognizance of an exposè in STATE TIMES and ordered a time-bound Preliminary Verification of the reports of a large scale conversion of agricultural lands in violation of Agrarian Reforms Act and a chain of orders of a Division Bench of J&K High Court.
Vide his letter No: CHQ/Clt/15/K-972-15/23141-42, dated 15-10-2015, with a copy for information to Director General of Police, Inspector General of Police Crime, Munir Khan, has directed SSP Crime Kashmir to take notice, constitute a team of officers, hold a PV into the report of agricultural land conversion through illegal means at Ompora Budgam and submit his report of findings within 10 days.
"You are advised to constitute a team of officers and ascertain the factual position by initiating a PV into the matter and furnish a factual report within ten days positively. PV bearing No: PV (K) 129 of 2015 is allotted to the instant source report", IGP Crime has written to SSP Crime Branch Kashmir.
In its issue of October 15, STATE TIMES had exposed how scores of tippers had been employed by a land mafia for illegal and unauthorised conversion of agricultural lands by way of earth filling during previous night. While there are standing orders from a Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court against conversion of agricultural lands, section 13 of Agrarian Reforms Act makes it clear that none other than Revenue Minister is competent authority for granting land use change under rules in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a related development on Friday, DGP K Rajendra Kumar directed SSP Budgam "to come down heavily on violators".
Interestingly, minutes before DGP's direction, members of the land mafia allegedly chased and forced collision of their vehicle against the Duster of a complainant, namely Mohammad Shafi Qureshi, outside Tehsildar's office and 50 yards from Police Station of Budgam. Eyewitnesses said that Qureshi's vehicle, JK04C- 3435, suffered damage and he was beaten up. He rushed to Police Station where 5th FIR was registered against the group of the assailants.
"It was an attempt to murder. SHO has registered FIR and initiated action. The assaulter, Bashir Ahmad, was arrested", Qureshi said. Another member of the gang has been already arrested by Police after FIR against fresh violation was registered on Tehsildar's written order on Thursday. Sources said that the violation has taken place even after three undertakings and sureties in three different FIRs from the same land brokers at the same spot.
Police and Revenue officials claim to be "completely professional and impartial" but many of the residents allege that some of them had shut their eyes to such violations at Ompora and other places on periphery of Budgam district headquarters out of incompetency while as others were "hand in glove" with Police and Revenue officers. "When there's is public outcry or acute pressure for other reasons, these people are booked and detained. But everybody knows that they get VIP treatment in custody until they get bail. No challan has been filed against them despite the Police having proven cases against them", said a complainant.
[Published in today's STATE TIMES]