Govt should not harass persons who availed Roshni scheme legitimately: Bukhari

File Pic of Altaf Bukhari

JKAP President Syed Altaf Bukhari on Friday said the government must act against those “who have committed frauds” in the erstwhile Roshni Act, but should not harass persons who availed the scheme in a legitimate way.

“The JKAP believes that if anyone has committed any fraud by grabbing vast forest and agricultural land, they must be punished. But those who have, in a legitimate way, availed a government scheme should not be harassed” Bukhari said.

Speaking at a party event at the JKAP headquarters, Bukhari said the guilty must be punished irrespective of the region. “If someone has committed a fraud by portraying a commercial establishment as residential, they must be punished. But those who have availed benefit of six marlas or a kanal in a legitimate way need not be troubled,” Bukhari said.

When asked as to why it were the Valley-based politicians and prominent persons who have been named in the contentious Roshni Act, Bukhari said it should not be “looked from the point of view of Jammu and Srinagar, but in a holistic way”.

“It is not just a matter of Kashmir, but apparently in Jammu thousands of kanals of land have been grabbed. Such people must be exposed and brought to book. Wherever there is injustice done to someone we will not sit quiet but let the process of law take its own course” Bukhari said.

Bukhari said hospitality players across the Valley especially in health resorts, who had been given land on 40 years lease must be given a renewal “as they have been unable to find the due returns in the last three decades of turbulent situation in the Valley”.

“There is a vast land bank in Srinagar which was leased out by the government. Some beneficiaries opted for the Roshni scheme while others didn’t for whom the government has to renew it now. Well before 1990 land was leased out in Gulmarg and Pahalgam for construction of hotels but as soon their hotels came up, the situation in Kashmir turned fragile. What would these hotels have earned? So their lease for 40 years needs to be renewed,” Bukhari said.