Land Jihadis: Taking cover under Bharat Jodo Yatra
JAMMU: With Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra progressing towards the Temple City and Jammu and Kashmir Administration tightening noose around the influential land grabbers, in pursuance of the directions of the High Court, the land Jihadis have begun getting united under a common banner to stall the process. Nearly half a dozen highly influential leaders found the much needed cover under the Congress Yatra, which they joined with much fanfare at Lakhanpur. Dye has been cast to politicize the issue.
Interestingly, the line of action of the political parties, like the PDP, the National Conference and the Congress, is identical-‘common people are being targeted, marginalised segments are harassed, laws are being weaponized to humiliate and punish the people’. The agent provocateurs’ homework, however, backfired with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announcing that the common and poor people would not be touched during the ongoing drive against the encroachers. This has unnerved the land Jihadis, who now find final resort in the Congress Yatra to corner the government. The scenario has also changed with the Supreme Court dashing their hopes by not staying the circular issued to all deputy commissioners to vacate the encroachments by January 31, 2023.
The rants of common people, marginalized segments and what not, fractured with the people in general not falling in the bait of land Jihadis. Sensing the public mood, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said…”The latest dictat (retrieving illegally possessed land) was issued because the GOI, despite misusing the agencies and unleashing draconian laws, isn’t getting the desired results”. Thus the cat has come out of the bag. She has admitted that the drive is actually against the politicians and their cohorts. Which it is, as they, along with some sheepish bureaucrats and the other influential people, have been the beneficiaries of the biggest ever scam of Jammu and Kashmir.
It would have been a simple case of land-grab had the motivation not been different, especially in the wake of consistent efforts since 1990 to rehabilitate a Samuday Vishesh in the posh peripheries of the Jammu city. First, the lands were grabbed, then constructions undertaken on war footing with the obliging administration creating utility services, like power, drinking water and road network, and finally, the occupied lands had to be regularized. Hence, the Roshni Act-a gift, conceived, prepared and put in practice by the NC, the PDP and the Congress.
OpIndia, October 13, 2020, reports “…There are more than 25000 illegal beneficiaries of the Roshni Act in the Jammu region; 90 percent of which belong to the Muslim Community whereas only 4500 beneficiaries are there in the Kashmir region… According to the Census Report of 2001, the Hindu Population in Jammu was 65 percent whereas the Muslim Population was 31 percent, however, at the time of the Census that was conducted in 2011, the Muslim Population in the Region saw an increase by 3 percent whereas Hindu Population declined by 3 percent in the region, the reason for the same is clearly visible.”
The land Jihadis have played very smart. They killed two pigeons with one stone-to disturb the demographic equilibrium of Jammu and to legalise their illegal assets, which ran into crores of rupees. In pursuit of their greed, the perpetrators of the land Jihad erred in their assessment that they will be getting unflinching support of a particular community, as the move was to marginalize Jammuties but it had not to be. Several well meaning persons stood against the open loot and facilitated the legal process to its logical conclusion, leaving the illegal beneficiaries high and dry. The policy of loot and scoot has come under heavy scanner in various forums.
Jammu Kashmir Law Commission under the aegis of its chairman Justice (Retd.) M.K Hanjura submitted a detailed 53-page report which revealed shocking results on the Roshni Act. The Commission termed the Act as a “typical example of the fences swallowing the crop. These are covered in dust from top to toe. The state has gone against the grain in legislating the Act and in framing the rules. It prepared the chicken feed for itself and the bees sowed the wild oats. It has blessed its flowers and the weeds. Such legislation where a huge chunk of land comprising thousands of kanals in which the public, in general, had an interest has been conveniently allowed to be transferred to the trespassers and the encroachers by a blatant misuse of the public trust and power cannot find a place in any nook and corner of the Indian State” (Ref: JK Law Commission Report, March 2020).
Will the Congress create an enabling situation for the looters as it did in the case of a Samuday Vishesh in Haldwani in Uttrakhand last month, amid the Bharat Jodo Yatra?