CBI conduct searches at 10 locations in Jammu, Kathua

Representational Photo

The sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today conducted searches at ten different locations in Jammu and Kathua in a case of alleged encroachment of state and forest land.

The persons accused in the case include former minister Choudhary Lal Singh; R B Educational Trust, Ex-Deputy Commissioner Kathua and some revenue officials.

During the searches conducted simultaneously at all locations during morning hours, the sleuths seized documents pertaining to moveable and immoveable properties from the residences of the accused persons.

It may be mentioned that the CBI has booked former minister and founder of Dogra SwabhimanS angathan (DSS) Choudhary Lal Singh, his wife Kanta Andotra (chairman of the RB Educational Trust), former Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Ajay Singh Jamwal, former Tehsildar Marheen (Kathua) Avtar Singh, Naib Tehsildar Deshraj, Girdwar Ram Pal and Patwari Sudesh Kumar and some other persons for alleged false declaration by them on possession of land.

Earlier, a preliminary enquiry was conducted by the CBI during June 2020 on the allegations of encroachment of state and forestland in Kathua by the accused in connivance with Revenue and Forest officials, an official said.

“The CBI started preliminary investigation to look into the allegations of land grabbing by the educational institution being run by the family of former minister Choudhary Lal Singh including his wife Kanta Andotra,” the official said.

The official said that the revenue officials including then Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, and others had allegedly facilitated purchase of agriculture land by issuing “wrong certificates regarding status of land”.

The accused public servants in connivance with the educational trust allegedly allowed it to retain the land beyond the permissible ceiling limit of 100 kanals fixed under Agrarian Reforms Act.