A day after two former chief ministers, Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, were listed among encroachers on state land, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday made public a list of seven other illegal occupants of land in Jammu district, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP office stands on three kanals (roughly 1,500 square metres) of illegally occupied state land in Sunjwan village of Jammu, according to the administration, an allegation denied by party president Mehbooba Muft, who said the premises had been rented.
“Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP office sits on an encroached three kanals of state land in Sunjwan. The land is suspected to have been encroached upon when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the chief minister,” said an official who requested anonymity.
Mehbooba Mufti reacted acerbically. “Godi Gang’s desperation to please their masters without checking facts is evident,” she wrote in a post on Twitter, using a mocking term for supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Otherwise they’d know that PDP office both in Srinagar & Jammu is rented accommodation & NOT owned by the party. Shame on this Godi Gang for misleading people.”
Repeated calls made and messages sent to the PDP chief went unanswered.
PDP leader Talib Choudhary is also among the alleged encroachers with two kanals of land in Channi Rama under his occupation. The names of former senior superintendent of police Mirza Rasheed, businessman Haji Sultan Ali, former Congress minister Aijaz Khan’s relative Zehan Din and former inspector general of police Nisar Ali figured in the list.
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The Jammu and Kashmir administration is making public the names of alleged beneficiaries of a two-decade-old, now-repealed law called the Roshni Act that allowed people to acquire proprietary rights to land they had illegally occupied by paying for it. It is also naming those who are still in illegal possession of state land.
“We are uploading the list of beneficiaries and encroachers. It will take some time” , Jammu divisional commissioner Sanjeev Verma said. When asked whether the alleged encroachers would be evicted from state land, he said: “Whatever is required will be done in accordance with the law.”
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