The J&K vigilance and revenue department will conduct joint investigations into a land grabbing case in Rajouri, where prime state land worth Rs 40 crore has been usurped by private individuals in connivance with some government officials.
Sources said the decision was taken at a high-level meeting convened by Rajouri deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, where he pointed out that the land, measuring over 56 kanal (7 acres), had been illegally transferred to private individuals through wrong mutations done by some revenue officials in violation of rules. It has been decided to retrieve the entire land and develop it into a parking lot and a bus stand.
A committee headed by the District Vigilance Officer and comprising of two revenue officers and two policemen will probe the case. A district Statistics and Evaluation Officer will accompany them to fix the quantum of losses. The committee has been given one month to present its report.
Sources said a month-long inquiry into land records revealed that in many cases ownership rights were granted in violation of J&K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership Rights) Act and Rules. The field officials and record custodians changed the land type to accord undue benefit to private people, they said.
The irregularity came to the fore after a process was initiated to identify land for the creation of parking lots to decongest city roads. The revenue papers of stated private lands were examined (w.e.f Misl-e-Haqiyat of 1961-62) and the nexus was unearthed.
In four different cases, land situated in 34 separate Khasra numbers has come under scrutiny. It has been revealed that out of the 89 kanal 03 marla land, about 56 kanal 01 marla is state land worth more that Rs 40 crore. However, the record was manipulated over many years following illegal mutation of the land, causing huge loss to the state exchequer.
The deputy commissioner has also summoned some officials of the revenue department for questioning after it was found that there were attempts to conceal facts.
In some glaring irregularities, Gair Mumkin road (riverine) and Gair Mumkin Kuhl (irrigation canal) types of land were granted ownership rights under the Roshni Act. Moreover, state land measuring 4 kanal 9 marla was mutated in favour of private people. Officials of irrigation department are also under the scanner for their role in allowing state land worth crores to be encroached.
In another irregularity, state land was shown as occupied by the Auqaaf Department and was later allotted to private people and further mutated in favour of their sons. It has also been found that illegal constructions have been raised on government land and some officers even furnished reports on existing structures to assist encroachers to make their case.
Meanwhile, the district administration has proposed to construct a bus stand over more than 55 kanal state land and parking space at three different locations for more than 2000 vehicles.