Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council today directed Chief Secretary M Iqbal Khandey to ascertain the facts over the allegations of a legislator that some opposition party members were encroaching upon government land.

The directions to Khandey came from Legislative Council Chairman Amrit Malhotra after the ruling National Conference (NC ) members raised the issue when the House met in the morning.

“I direct the Chief Secretary to ascertain the facts and submit a report by tomorrow,” Malhotra said.

NC MLC Bashir Ahmad Veeri accused some members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of encroaching upon a wetland measuring 4,000 kanal (200 hectares) at Sangam on the Srinagar-Jammu National highway in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Veeri said the government had provided 72 kanals of land to some private parties for improving it for agricultural purposes, but the PDP leaders encroached upon 4,000 kanals and were converting it for non-agricultural use.

Though Minister of State for Revenue Aijaz Ahmad Khan said the issue was only about 72 kannals and not 4,000 kannals and the land was allotted only for the purpose of filling it for its improvement, the NC members did not budge and demanded a House Committee be set up to probe the matter.

“The Revenue Department and the Courts have been misled. Some officials in the district have manipulated the facts. There are the signatures of PDP leaders on the papers. It is a matter of grave concern,” Veeri said.

Khan told the protesting members that the government could direct the Crime Branch to investigate the matter, but they said it should be investigated by a House committee.

Following the pandemonium, the Chairman issued the directions to the Chief Secretary.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal