Press Trust of india

J&K land encroachments under Roshni Act biggest land scam of India: Anurag Thakur

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Jammu: Union minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday called the Roshni land scheme the “biggest land scam of India”, and questioned NC leader Farooq Abdullah and others as to what necessitated them to ‘grab’ government lands even after ruling Jammu and Kashmir for three generations.

He also termed the Gupkar alliance as a symbol of “self-interest, scam and separatism”.

Former J&K chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah have been named by the Jammu and Kashmir administration in a list which alleges that their residential house in Jammu is built over illegally-possessed land, a charge denied by the father-son duo.

“The Roshni scheme is the biggest land scam of India,” Thakur said.

“They (Farooq Abdullah and others) should explain to the people of India as to why they grabbed state lands and made laws to legalise occupancy while they served the state for three generations,” he told reporters here.

“The National Conference (NC) leaders have encroached upon government lands. The party’s Srinagar and Jammu offices came to them under the same scheme,” Thakur said.

The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs also alleged that 3.42 lakh kanal of government land, including forest and state land, has been encroached during the last three decades.

“The Roshni scheme was brought in 2001 to raise Rs 25,000 crore to light up Jammu and Kashmir by investing the amount in power projects. But only Rs 76 crore was realised in the revenue records,” he said.

Lambasting the Gupkar alliance, Thakur said “it benefited the corrupt political class by lighting up their houses instead of those of poor and landless people of the state”.

Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) for restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before August 05 last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders in the issue.

Meanwhile, addressing an election rally in Kathua, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh came down heavily on the NC, the PDP and the Congress, saying they have kept J&K hostage for more than five decades and claimed that the Roshni scam was only the tip of the iceberg.

“The two private companies, Abdullah and sons and Mufti and sons, have played havoc with Jammu and Kashmir, both administratively and economically,” he said.

He alleged that “the two families” conspired to deprive women of their rights on the pretext of Article 370 and owed an explanation to them.

“The recent Rs 25,000-crore scam unearthed by the government was just the tip of an iceberg,” he said, referring to the alleged Roshni scam.

“There are hundreds of such scams that have taken place in the last 50 years by the Abdullah-Mufti families to build their properties,” he alleged at the rally for the BJP candidate.

The BJP asked the Congress to explain its support to the Gupkar alliance which, he alleged, was indulging in anti-democratic and anti-national actions.

Chugh also alleged that the Congress had been surreptitiously supporting the Chinese designs in the region and has been working hand-in-glove with anti-national forces.


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