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CBI files case against trust run by Lal Singh’s wife over encroachment on huge government land

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Jammu:  The CBI has registered a case against a Kathua-based educational trust, run by former minister Lal Singh’s wife, and some government officials to probe encroachment on a huge tract of government land.

When contacted, Singh said “the CBI is doing its work.”

In a statement, the CBI said, “Searches were conducted today at 10 locations including Jammu and Kathua at the premises of said educational trust/its chairperson and residential premises of other accused which led to recovery of documents related to movable/immovable property etc.”

The case has been registered against R B Educational Trust through its chairperson and Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra, former deputy commissioner of Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal and former Tehsildar of Marheen Avatar Singh.

Besides, the then Naib Tehsildar Chann Rorian (Marheen Tehsil) Des Raj, the then Girdawar Ram Pal, the then Patwari Sudesh Kumar and other unknown persons have also been booked, the statement said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had in June registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on the allegations of encroachment on a huge tract of public/government/forest land in Kathua by certain persons in violation of J&K Agrarian Reforms Act in connivance with revenue and forest officials, the statement said.

“It was further alleged that the accused were involved in the conspiracy with the said Educational Trust through its chairperson to allow the trust to retain the land beyond the permissible ceiling limit of 100 standard kanal fixed in the Agrarian Reforms Act by deliberately giving the wrong exemption of 32 kanals of grazing land as per said Act and showing the land as ‘orchard’ which was not an orchard as per revenue record,” it said.

It was also alleged that the educational trust, in connivance with the other accused, got done wrong calculation of standard kanal of the land measuring 316 Kanal and 17 Marlas to escape the ceiling imposed by the J&K Agrarian Reforms Act, the statement said.

Kanal and Marlas are traditional land measurement units.

“It was further alleged that a false information was submitted in the affidavit filed by one of the accused during June, 2015 before the court in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) so as to save the Trust from any adverse order,” the CBI said.

The trust runs a school, B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) and nursing colleges on the land, officials said, adding its transactions are being probed by the central agency for alleged irregularities in its purchase.

Singh quit the BJP last year and floated the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS).

He along with the then industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga had resigned from the PDP-BJP dispensation in 2018 after questions were raised over their participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally organised in support of those arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua that year.

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