Mafia rules the roost as inquiries into land grabbing cases going on at snail’s pace

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, June 14: The land mafia is ruling the roost as numerous inquiries into the land grabbing cases are going on at the snail’s pace with the officers entrusted with the task of concluding the investigation in a time bound manner remaining slack on one pretext or the other. Due to inordinate delay in completion of such inquiries, even the officers and officials, who had connived with the land grabbers, remain unpunished.
One such inquiry pertains to grabbing and damaging of huge chunk of State land at village Pargalta near Bajalta Railway Station under Khasra No 219, which was exposed exclusively by EXCELSIOR in the month of January this year. Following this, Deputy Commissioner Jammu immediately ordered inquiry and attached the concerned Patwari besides getting the entire record seized.
Within few days of district administration ordering inquiry, land mafia again raised ugly head in the area that too in the late night and attempted to carry out illegal activity by pressing heavy machinery. However, the bid was foiled by a team of Revenue officers with the assistance of Police and accordingly FIR was lodged at Nagrota Police Station for identifying the land grabbers and taking stern action against them.
As during the preliminary inquiry, the criminal conspiracy between the subordinate revenue officials and certain private persons/land owners behind grabbing and damaging the State land in village Pargalta came to the fore, the district administration directed the committee comprising Assistant Commissioner Nazool and Tehsildar Jammu to conduct the inquiry into the grave issue from all aspects and fix the responsibilities for necessary action against all the erring officials.
As per the directions, the committee had to complete the inquiry within a period of 15 days. However, the same has not reached its logical conclusion even after the lapse of nearly six months and those officials involved in encouraging the mafia remain unpunished. Due to this, even the land grabbers are roaming freely.
When contacted, Assistant Commissioner Nazool, Pawan Sharma said, “I have submitted the interim report to the Deputy Commissioner and submission of complete report will take some more time”, adding “before reaching any logical conclusion we have to demarcate the area first for which Electronic Total Station equipment has been requisitioned from the Regional Director Land Records and Surveys”.
However, sources said that Electronic Total Station equipment was provided to the concerned authorities but whether the same was used for the intended purpose could not be ascertained.
Similar is the fate of inquiry ordered into encroachment of Government land at village Chatha, Sunjwan by land grabbers in connivance with some politicians.
When this encroachment came to the notice of the Government, the General Administration Department vide Order No. 5 dated January 1, 2008 appointed the then Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sudhanshu Pandey as Inquiry Officer to look into the matter.
The Inquiry Officer was required to submit report to the Housing and Urban Development Department and the General Administration Department within a period of one month. Astonishingly, even after the lapse of six years the fate of inquiry is not known.
Recently, when an RTI activist approached the GAD to obtain the inquiry report, the GAD forwarded the application to the Revenue Department, which vide letter No.Rev/RTI/87/2014 dated June 2, 2014 conveyed to the GAD that PIO Revenue Department has nothing to do with the matter as the same pertains to GAD and Housing and Urban Development Department.
Thereafter, the application was forwarded to the Housing and Urban Development Department, which has referred the same to the Secretary, Jammu Development Authority for providing the requisite information directly to the applicant.
“This indicates that nobody in the Government is bothered about taking the inquiries into land grabbing cases to the logical conclusion”, sources said, adding “due to non-serious approach of the Government towards the land grabbing incidents the mafia is ruling the roost and the officers and officials involved in extending help to land grabbers are roaming free”.
According to the sources, there are numerous such inquiries whose fate is hanging in balance due to non-serious approach of the inquiry officers and the higher-ups.


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