Abid Hussain

Chairman ‘J&K RTI Movement’ alleges nexus between land mafia and revenue dept

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Revenue department reluctant to provide records of government Rakh land at Narkara to Rakhs and Farms department despite repeated letters, reveals RTI

Budgam, Feb 03: The Revenue department of Budgam has not provided records of government Rakh land at Narkara to Rakhs and Farms department despite repeated letters, reveals a response to Right to Information (RTI) application.

For demarcation of land at Narkara, which was encroached by land mafia, the Director Rakhs and Farms department wrote to Tehsildar Budgam via a letter vide No. ADRF/Dev 2017-18/125-28 dated 17-08-2017.

"The Rakhs and Farms department has a geographical area of more one lakh kanals of government Rakh land in the valley which is divided in eleven circles in seven districts, records of which are maintained by the Revenue department of the jurisdiction where government Rakh land is situated. Circle Gundakhshah is one of the eleven circles of Rakhs and Farms department and beat Narkara is one of the beats of circle Gundakhshah," it says.

"During the year 2014, report regarding illegal encroachment (of) government Rakh land at Beat Narkara was received from the field staff of this department," reads the communication vide No. DRF/Dev/2018-19/56-59 dated 17-07-2018, which was shot to Financial Commissioner Revenue by Rakhs and Farms department.

"This department removed the illegal structure raised by the unscrupulous elements and lodged FIR against them and accordingly the matter for demarcation (of) boundary was taken up with the Revenue department viz Deputy Commissioner and Tehsildar Budgam," the letter informs.

In another letter vide No. DRF/Dev/2018-19/296-303 dated 06-12-2018, the Director of Rakhs and Farms had sought intervention of Director Vigilance for safeguarding the government land from encroachment and providing records of the said land by the Revenue agency.

"The Tehsildar Budgam in reference to this office communication furnished a report to the Deputy Commissioner Budgam vide No. 1344/OCQ/Bdgm dated 05-11-2015 that no government Rakh land is in the jurisdiction at Narkara and the land claimed by Rakhs and Farms is Mahfooz Khahcharai as shown in the fresh settlement records of the land framed by the Revenue agency of Budgam during the year 2014, which seems that Revenue agency of Tehsil Budgam (has) intentionally changed the title of the government Rakh land as Mahfooz Kahcharai instead of government Rakh land for the reasons best known to them," it says.

Earlier, in a communication, vide No. DRF/Dev/2014-15/346-51 dated 19-05-2014, the Rakhs and Farms department requested Deputy Commissioner Budgam to instruct Assistant Commissioner Revenue Budgam to demarcate Rakh land at beat Narkara. However, till date the matter is pending.

"The land mafia have again started illegal sale/encroachments of the government Rakh land at beat Narkara as per reports received from the field agency of this department,” reads the letter. "It is as such requested to kindly pass on instructions to the Tehsildar concerned to take up the demarcation process at an earliest in order to get the government land saved from encroachments."

It is pertinent to mention that the RTI application was filed by Chairman J&K RTI Movement, Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool.

While talking to Kashmir Images, Dr Rasool said, "Revenue department Budgam isn't cooperating in demarcation of land because they are in hand glove with the land mafia. Also, the district administration is unmoved about the grave issue."

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