J-K Cong MP’s trust set to lose ‘excess’ land
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The Congress MP from Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, Choudhary Lal Singh, has landed in trouble for possessing land in excess of the upper ceiling of 100 standard kanals fixed under the Jammu Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act. The state government has begun proceedings to confiscate the excess land owned by an educational trust run by him.
Official sources told The Indian Express that Kathua Deputy Commissioner Zahida Parveen Khan has issued a notice asking R B Education Trust to identify 100 standard kanals of land for itself of the total 240 kanals owned by it at present. The trust has been given a week's time, the sources said.
Meanwhile, another 92 kanals of state land adjoining the trust land and allegedly encroached by the Congress MP was retrieved by the revenue department Saturday.
The state land, on which wheat crop had been sown, was identified after measurement by a team of revenue officials headed by Hiranagar tehsildar Amit Kumar Bhagat.
While the Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, denied that the state land so retrieved was under the possession of the Congress MP or his trust, physically or as per records, a letter written by the then vigilance commissioner Ashok Bhan to the principal secretary to the CM in 2006 had charged the MP with encroachment.
Emphasising the need to retrieve this piece of state land from the "Congress MP's illegal possession", the letter had also accused him of constructing a metalled approach road to it through the Public Works Department.
Trouble began for the MP following a PIL in the HC charging politicians and bureaucrats of encroaching state land. A reply to an application under the RTI Act by the Hiranagar tehsildar, stating that R B Education Trust run by Singh owned over 300 kanals of land at Karandi Khurd village, formed part of the PIL.
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