All STATE and forest land will be retrieved from unauthorised occupants after demolishing structures raised on them, the BJP promised in its vision document for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday. The party also said that criminal prosecution will be launched against those, including bureaucrats, who facilitated the encroachments.
Releasing the vision document, BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said, “The BJP has zero tolerance for encroachments.”
“National Conference offices in Jammu and Srinagar are on state land, their occupation of it has been regularised under Roshni Act. The Abdullahs’ house in Jammu’s Bhatindi area, where two former CMs – Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah – live, too, is built on a piece of land, a major portion of which belongs to forests,” Sethi said.
“So in coming days, the land from both these offices will be retrieved and these offices closed,” he said. Similarly, “if our party comes to power in the DDC elections, we will retrieve the forest land on which Abdullahs’ house has been constructed and restore it to forests,” he said. “Forest land is meant for wildlife and politicians and their houses have no place on it.”
When his attention was drawn towards a status report filed by Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in the Jammu Kashmir High Court that B N College being run by former BJP minister Abdul Gani Kohli and his family in Channi Rama area of Jammu is on state land, Sethi said: “Whosoever has done encroachment, all the land has to be retrieved from him.’
“Whosoever is involved – former CMs, their ministers, businessmen who are funding political parties, bureaucrats and even police officers, action will be taken against everyone,’’ Sethi said.
Last month, the Anti Corruption Bureau had indicted Baseer Khan, an advisor to J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, in the 2009 Gulmarg land scam. In 2009, the then State Vigilance Organisation – now ACB – had registered a case against 20 people, including Khan, the then Baramulla Deputy Commissioner, and six other top bureaucrats for allegedly misusing their official position to transfer state land earmarked for development of tourist infrastructure in Gulmarg to private parties.
Apart from removing encroachments, the BJP in its vision document promised improved power and water supply, strengthening road network, promoting areas of tourist potential to boost local economy and create employment.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines