Srinagar: The J&K government has gone tough against the encroachers for illegally occupying the State land.
In a fresh crackdown, big fish from National Conference (NC) - Altaf Ahmad Wani (Kaloo) and Abdul Majeed Bhat (Larmi) and also Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baqar Hussain Samoon have been caught in the net.
The Anantnag district administration has initiated action against senior NC leader and former legislator from Pahalgam constituency Altaf Kaloo and his close relatives for encroachment on Shamilat 4 land and illegal collection of rent.
A senior revenue official said that a patch of Shamilat 4 land in excess of 100 kanal at Estate Jammu in Aishmuqam has been delineated as proprietary land by tampering with revenue records.
The official said that the former legislator has been receiving rent on this piece of land while factually the said land is Shamilat 4 land and belongs to the community.
“Ex-MLA Pahalgam receives rent from government through Defence Estates Department Srinagar against a huge patch of government (Shamilaat-e-Najayaz, Shamilat Section 4) land along with his other close relatives, since decades, on the pretext of an entry illegally incorporated through Farde Badr in revenue records,” officials said.
They said that the land has been rented out to the security forces against a payment of rent.
“The military installation in Aishmuqam village houses the office of CO RR 3rd. It is spread over 458 kanal. Of this, 302 kanal are under the jurisdiction of Jammu Patwar halqa and 156 kanals are in Logripora village. Of the total 458 kanal, only 51 kanal is proprietary land. The rest is community land (kahcharaie),” the officials said. “However, the Army is paying rent for all the 458 kanal of land.”
They said that of the 51 kanal of proprietary land, 28 kanal belong to Kaloo’s extended family but the rent is being collected for 155 kanal.
The officials said that Assadullah Kaloo, Nooruddin, Gull Muhammad, and Abdul Majeed passed away years ago.
They said that Assistant Commissioner Anantnag has also written to the Defence Estates Officer Kashmir Circle in this regard.
As per the officials, the matter is currently under investigation and the quantum of rent received fraudulently from the armed forces is being assessed and would be recovered.
“While the tampered revenue records have already been expunged by way of legal procedures, the rent will be recovered after assessment of the amount in coordination with armed forces,” they said.
Officials said that the former legislator is also under the scanner for encroachment on migrant land at various places in Estate Grandish in Aishmuqam.
A senior official said that a couple of such mutations had come under the scanner in which proper procedure had not been adopted and the matter was under investigation.
“The matter of fact is that even though the grandfather passed away many years ago, the revenue entries are still in his name? How is it that a portion of the property is in the name of the deceased, and the rest has been transferred to his legal heirs?” he said.
Altaf Kaloo’s close associate, Ghulam Muhammad Dar, who is a contractor by profession is taking rent for 20 kanal of community land. According to revenue records, he is illegally occupying these 20 kanal.
“Physical verification reveals that he has built a house and a commercial building over the 20 kanal state land in his possession,” the officials said.
Similarly, Ghulam Rasool Mir and Muhammad Ibrahim Numberdar, both close to Kaloo, have community land physically in their possession and take rent from the Army for the same Khasra numbers.
Officials said that the migrant land at Aishmuqam, which originally belongs to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, had been illegally mutated in his favour by several mutations falling under Khasra numbers 406, 434, 435, 446, and 447.
“The land was originally proprietary of Brijnath, Gopi Nath, and Prithvi Nath Pandith but was mutated illegally under the Agrarian Reforms Act 1976 in his favour,” they said. “How an active political activist can be a tenant, when the family was living jointly with their living parents, is a big question, which needs an answer and investigation under MIP Act.”
Meanwhile, former NC MLA Altaf Kaloo tweeted a portion of his letter that he has written to the office of Tehsildar Aishmuqam saying that the allegations levelled against him were baseless and not based on records as no land that is under the occupation of 3RR unit Aishmuqam was recorded in his name and others.
In another incident, Anantnag district administration on Monday took over an illegal commercial structure at LG Pora area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Officials said that the structure belongs to former NC MLA from Homeshalibugh constituency, Abdul Majeed Larmi.
They said that the structure had been erected by encroaching on Shamilat 4 land close to the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The property is situated on a prime piece of land.
According to officials, property worth over Rs 50 lakh including the land was being rented out to various businesses.
A senior revenue official said that there has been a full onslaught on encroachers in Anantnag who have occupied prime pieces of State and Shamilat land for their own benefits.
“Influential encroachers who have abused their official positions to amass ill-gotten gains are the priority for removal of encroachments,” he said.
The official said that the vacated buildings and lands could be put to public use.
Notably, a few days ago a notice had also been issued to Abdul Majeed Larmi regarding the encroachment, which was followed up with decisive action on Monday.
A senior revenue official said that while encroachments on the roadside including fences had been demolished, the main building had been taken over by the Revenue department.
“One double-storied complex owned by ex-MLA of NC Abdul Majeed Bhat alias Larmi, which is presently in the use of J&K Bank has been demolished along with 60 shops belonging to other persons of the said area,” the official said.
In one more case, Budgam administration said that during the ongoing drive regarding the removal of encroachments on state and kahcharei land and its retrieval, it came to fore that SSP Baqar Hussain Samoon had encroached an area of 1 kanal 18 marlas of kahcharei land just adjacent to the proprietary land by constructing a shed and wall.
The officials said that accordingly notice for eviction was served upon the encroacher, which didn’t evoke any response.
They said the structure and the concrete wall was demolished on Monday to retrieve a prime patch of land worth crores of rupees.
The officials said that the anti-encroachment drive against serving and retired powerful persons would continue in the coming few days.