J&K anti-graft body unearths major land grab scam

Srinagar, June 15 (IANS) The J&K Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) said on Friday that it has unearthed a major land scam in which lands were usurped by land mafia in connivance with some government officials.

In a statement, the ACB said, “After obtaining search warrants from a special judge in Jammu, search teams comprising ACB officers, independent witnesses, and magistrates were deputed to 16 locations throughout the Jammu division and its adjoining areas.

“Inputs were received that custodian land in thousands of kanals situated at Asarwan, Mishriwala, and Bhalwal areas of Jammu have been fraudulently grabbed by land grabbers/gangsters in connivance with revenue and police officials/officers.”

The revenue records were tempered and land was sold to various persons, it said.

“During a formal verification, it was found that in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy, FORM 3-A (Form Alf) along with power of attorneys (POAs) were obtained from various POK refugees, alluring them of additional lands and providing them instant money ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000 by the conduits of land grabbers.

“Thereafter, insertions/additions regarding additional chunks of custodian lands were made in the revenue records by the officials/officers of the revenue and custodian departments by abuse of their official positions,” the statement said.

These lands were sold by the conduits and attorney holders to various persons including their gang leaders and members by resorting to fraudulent means, thereby causing a huge loss to the government, it said.

“In addition to the five FIRs registered in the matter, verification is still in progress to unearth the remaining usurped custodian land by land mafia in connivance with officers and officials of revenue, police, and custodian departments,” the statement said.

–IANS

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