J&K govt orders probe into Humhama land grabbing issue

Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga, BJP's Vinod Gupta, National Conference's Bashir Ahmad Veeri also supported the demand.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 28, 2016, 18:18 PM IST

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into allegations of land grabbing at Humhama in the outskirts of the city here.

The inquiry was ordered after MLCs in Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, cutting across party lines, created ruckus in the House and demanded formation of a House Committee to probe land grabbing at Humhama by some influential persons.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) MLC Saifuddin Bhat, who raised the issue in the House after the Question Hour, said around 200 Kanals (10 hectares) of Kahchari (state land) has been illegally occupied at Humhama, but the state government has failed to retrieve it causing huge losses to its exchequer.

The government should probe this issue and retrieve the land, he demanded.

Bhat was supported by his party colleague Yasir Reshi, who demanded constitution of a House Committee to probe all such cases of land grab, saying it is a serious issue which needs the attention of the House.

The demand for the House Committee was supported by most of the legislators cutting across party lines.

Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga, BJP's Vinod Gupta, National Conference's Bashir Ahmad Veeri also supported the demand.

State land had been encroached, but unfortunately the governments over the years have failed to retrieve it, Monga said, adding influential people are involved in the land grabbing which needs a thorough probe.

The government has been assuring the House from time to time that an inquiry would be conducted but so far there is no conclusion or any report about the encroachments, Veeri said.

There is a need to set up a House Committee to probe the land grabbing, he said, adding the legislators were the "custodians of the state property" and it was their right to protect those.

However, Chairman Anayat Ali did not accept the demand of constituting a House Committee and asked the members to listen to what the government had to say on the issue.

Minister for Revenue and Relief, Basharat Bukhari, assured the House that the encroached land would be freed.

"I am ordering a high-level inquiry to probe the land grab at Humhama and following the committee's report, action as per law would be initiated against violators," he said.
The assurance from the minister pacified the members.