Accusing Congress and National Conference leaders of encroaching large tracts of government and forest land in Jammu and Kashmir, senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday demanded a thorough probe into the alleged ‘Roshni scam’.
He said that names of several top politicians, including NC leader Farooq Abdullah and former state ministers from the Congress and the NC have come to the fore for allegedly benefiting from the Roshni Act, which has since been struck down by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 is also known as the Roshni Act.
“There was a conscious loot by powerful people of forest land and getting benefits under the Roshni Act, which has been declared unconstitutional by the high court,” Prasad told reporters.
The Union minister said it is the lowest ebb in a democratic polity. “We condemn it outright,” he added.
Demanding a thorough probe, Prasad said the land should be taken back from the beneficiaries as directed by the high court.
He said while declaring the law unconstitutional, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had said that the names of people who had acquired land under the Act be listed and made public.
“Names of various politicians of the state have appeared in that list,” he said, naming former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, his sister and various Congress and NC leaders including Haseeb Drabu, Majid Wani and Sajjad Kichloo.
It is very unfortunate that key leaders of Jammu and Kashmir including Farooq Abdullah used their influence and power for “land grabbing and appropriated government land,” he said.
However, Abdullah’s son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah, while reacting to the list, denied that his father benefited from the Roshni Act.