J&K Govt Orders SIT Probe Into Alleged Illegal Lease Of Temple Properties In Kashmir

DE Web Desk
SRINAGAR, Apr 7: Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into alleged illegal lease of temple properties in the valley, officials said.
In a communiqué the authorities have asked Deputy Commissioners (DC) to furnish an updated inventory within a week’s time.
The office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has written a letter to all the ten DCs of Kashmir on Wednesday citing a “SIT probe into illegal lease of temple properties in valley and nexus in temple properties being used illegally”.
Quoting the directions of Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat, the letter has asked DCs to ascertain if there are any such instances in their districts.
“I am hereby directed to enclose herewith copy of communication along with its enclosures bearing O.M no. GAD-RMC/256/2022-LGRMC-GAD dated 20-05-2022 received from Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat References Monitoring Cell, Jammu & Kashmir with the request to ascertain any such instances in your district and take appropriate necessary action under rules with intimation to this office,” the communiqué reads.
Besides, the DCs have been asked to furnish the updated inventory of Religious Minority Properties (Temple, Gurudwara, Others) within weeks’ time positively, it said.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir peace forum in a statement have thanked the Lieutenant Governor for initiating the SIT probe and said that since the last 33 years no successive governments have taken any initiative to protect temple properties of minorities of Kashmir.
They alleged that despite repeated court orders, temple properties have been illegally given on lease or sold out.
“In the absence of Kashmiri Pandit community in the valley, a few selective people in connivance with the J&K government officials operated defunct temple Trusts in between 1989 till 2022 and sold out or leased out temple properties”, the peace forum alleged.