No end to activities of mafia; incident just tip of an iceberg
JAMMU, June 22: In a testimony of unabated unlawful activities of land mafia in connivance with the Government servants, illegal attestation of mutations over State and Jammu Development Authority (JDA) land in several villages of Nagrota tehsil has come to the fore with Vice-Chairman of the Authority writing to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vigilance Organization Jammu for registration of FIR. He has also set into motion an exercise to identify the officials who are hand-in-glove with the mafia.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that State High Court, in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) highlighting the issue of widespread encroachment on Jammu Development Authority land in different parts of Jammu and Samba districts, had in the recent past directed the Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Deputy Commissioner Jammu and Vice-Chairman of JDA, to start drive to retrieve the encroached land on war footing basis.
As per the orders of the Division Bench of State High Court, the State land falling in the jurisdiction of Jammu Development Authority is being identified and demarcated for eviction of encroachers. During this exercise, it came to the fore that instead of expediting the process of eviction, the land mafia has continued its illegal activities in connivance with the officials of Jammu Development Authority and Revenue Department.
“The land mafia has succeeded in getting illegal mutations attested in their favour in village Panjgarain, Kamini, Dhumi, Khanpur, Ban, Narainpur and Kot Jagir of Nagrota tehsil”, they said, adding “this has been done just to defeat the claim of Jammu Development Authority over State land as the land which stands transferred to Jammu Development Authority cannot be transferred in the name of private persons in any manner thereafter without proper resumption by the Revenue Department from the JDA”.
Taking serious note of this development, the Vice-Chairman of JDA Rajesh Kumar Shavan has written to the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vigilance Organization with the request to register FIR into illegal attestation of mutations in several villages of Nagrota. “This is just the tip of an iceberg. There can be other cases also and only proper investigation and verification that too village-wise in the jurisdiction of Jammu Development Authority can reveal the gravity of the embezzlement”, read the communication of Vice-Chairman, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Requesting SSP Vigilance Organization for time-bound investigation in order to book the culprits, the Vice-Chairman said, “in case any person having illegal possession and Khasra Girdwari entries from the year 1953 up to 1973 that land obviously was to be mutated in the name of occupant prior to the year 1973 itself which has not been done meaning thereby that the land was a State land”, adding “even after the enactment of Roshni Scheme, the State land within the jurisdiction of JDA cannot in any manner be transferred as the land was supposed to be with the JDA. In nutshell the Roshni Scheme is not applicable in the jurisdiction of JDA”.
According to the sources, the illegal activities of land mafia in connivance with certain officials of Jammu Development Authority have caused loss of crores of rupees to the State exchequer. “The VC JDA has also set into motion an exercise to identify such officials so as to take stern action against them under the service rules”, they added.
“It is due to support from certain sympathizers of the land mafia in JDA and Revenue Department that the land retrieval exercise always suffered setback in the State”, they further said, adding “continuation of illegal activities of land mafia even after explicit directions from the State High Court is really a cause of serious concern and unless stern action is taken their activities cannot be curbed”.