In a status report recently filed in Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the UT administration has stated that an educational institution run by former BJP minister Abdul Gani Kohli and his family members is on State land in Channi Rama area.
Asked why Kohli’s name has not been included in the lists of alleged occupants of state land uploaded on the UT’s official website, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma said they have submitted the status report as per HC’s directions, and the matter is sub judice.
Kohli said he had purchased the plot a long time ago.
The status report filed by Verma and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr Mohit Gera, in J&K High Court states: “BN College falls in Khasra No. 264 of Chani Rama (which is a State land) and not in Khasra No. 356 of village Sunjwan (forest land). BN College is being run by the family of former BJP minister Abdul Gani Kohli…”
The report was filed on the HC’s directions in a public interest litigation filed by social activist/lawyer Ankur Sharma, who is also chairman of IkkJutt Jammu, pointing out that the educational institutions run by Kohli and his family were on forest land. Since Kohli and his family contested the PIL, the court had asked the revenue and forest departments to demarcate the land and file status report.
Referring to HC’s directions, Verma and Gera pointed out that a joint committee of forest and revenue officials was constituted to find out the status of land on which BN College and other educational institutions stand – whether it is forest or state land.
On August 24, the status report pointed out, the two officers visited the spot along with members of the team and other field staff of both the revenue and forest department for a “physical inspection of the site and the area”, and “perusal and scrutiny of revenue record was also made at the site’’.
The team submitted its findings and conclusion, which said that an earlier demarcation done by a commission of then revenue officers, as also the joint report of revenue and forest departments in February 2017, found that “BN College and associated structures are located 800 karam (steps)’’ from the reference point graveyard “is correct’’. Moreover, “from the examination of revenue records of village Sunjwan and Channi Rama, it has come to the fore that no entry with regard to BN College and associated structures exist in revenue records,’’ the report stated.
“After examining the matter in entirety…and scrutiny of records and conducting a physical visit…it has been found that BN College falls in Khasra No. 264 of Channi Rama (which is State land) and not in Khasra No. 356 of village Sunjwan (forest land),’’ the joint status report said.
Kohli said there is 2,100 kanal State land in the area on which shopping malls, mosques, temples, commercial and residential structures are constructed. “If it comes out that my educational institutions are built on state land, even then my case should not be singled out, and (should be) treated like others in the area,’’ he said.
Elected from Kalakote, Kohli was the only Muslim candidate to get elected on BJP ticket in the 2014 elections.
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