For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, the Police and Revenue department in a coordinated manner crack down on the dens of notorious land grabbers, property dealers and revenue officers. The extraordinary move planned meticulously by the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Dr. Raghav Langar in association with District Police Chief, Jammu Mr. Chandan Kohli has shaken so far untouched foundation of fraudulent property dealers- corrupt revenue officials nexus which assumed a monstrous look over the years especially in Jammu.
Maintaining confidentiality in a gigantic raiding exercise was a cumbersome task especially when from heaven to hell, everyone knows about long lasting love affairs of a handful of police officers from top to bottom with notorious land grabbers, who enjoys considerable sway in the civil administration. It explicably indicts resolve of upright Chief Secretary, Mr. Arun. K. Mehta in implementing the vision of LG Sh. Manoj Sinha to transform the newly created J&K Union Territory into a Gulistan by ensuring transparent and corruption free administration for welfare of Aam Admi. Welcome move.
Immaculately, the raiding task results in recoveries of large scale significant missing government’s land documents from dens of retired/ serving Girdawars, Patwaris, Naib Tehsildars, Tehsildfars-is only a tip of iceberg of mess and corruption prevailing in the Revenue Department which indisputably earned distinction as most corrupt and highly unorganized government department in J&K.
Plausibly, the government should not remain contented with arrest of one Gola Shah and petty property dealers besides recoveries of revenue records pertaining to Sunjawan, Chowadhi and Bhathindi –an epicenter of demographic change within in Jammu city and illegal colonies, residential structures, gigantic commercial structures with invisible owners , shopping complexes which all raised on encroached state and forest lands in organized manner by influential land grabbers who enjoys full patronage of previous Kashmir centric government.
Mere arrest of few retired/ serving officers of revenue department would be of no use until the LG administration at the initial stage confiscate ill gotten money as well as assets they acquired through corrupt means and terminate their services by invoking Article 311 (2) (c). The thick skin black sheep in revenue functionaries as well as the land mafia are fully aware of shortcomings in the government and may exploit the same for managing stay from the judiciary which usually happened in the past.
Moreover, still several PSOs escorted big land mafia who brags of proximity with police higher ups, Advisor, judicial officers, and established illegal residential colonies with impunity in Chowadhi, Sunjawan and eyeing for more in outskirts of Jammu on land whose titles are controversial are expectedly left untouched in the raid.
Formation of ‘Task Force’ comprising officers of immaculate integrity is need of the hour to unearth those involved in open loot of Govt and forest land and earned crores through dubious land sale deeds. The horizon of investigation must contains the modus operandi undertaken by the developers in connivance with land grabbers as well as Revenue officers in formation of around 47 illegal colonies spreading in length and breadth of Sub Divisional Magistrate (North) and SDM (South) jurisdiction in Jammu in the past 3 years in violation of Land use Act after encroaching upon considerable portion of Khad, forest and state land.
Least but not last, the grabbing of state and forest land in Bhathindi, Chowadhi, Sunjawan etc and its subsequent sale to gullible citizens by property dealers by manipulating the revenue records is a large issue and the administration should not conceal developments related to its investigation within four walls of corridors of power. Instead of portraying the recoveries and arrests in a veiled manner to media, the administration should held weekly or fortnightly Press briefing on this crucial matter for the sake of transparency in investigation and to aware citizens about the ill plans of land grabbers in Jammu.
The administration must reveal in public domain what they have unearthed from the fiefdom of land mafia and what action they are going to initiate against the accuseds as public perception is not good about the past investigations which on many occasions were started and lost in oblivion involving land mafia and incorrigible corrupt officials and officers of revenue department.