The Bold Voice of J&K

Need to check menace of land-grabbing

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Rakesh Aathur

Roshni-Act scheme was started in order to facilitate to small and marginal farmers of erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir in 2009 when there was coalition Government of Congress and National Conference. The ethos of the scheme was to facilitate the small and marginal farmers of J&K by having ownership right upon the state/ evacuee land to which they were tilling/ cultivating since before 1947s and still they were rendered destitute of its ownership right. It have procedure that the spot visit of the concerned Patwari in concerned Khasra of land and map making by measuring its proper length and breadth along with its Missal- Haqiat Nakal/copy of 1958-59 was the pre-condition along with requisite fee per- kanal prescribed by the revenue department then. In addition to it a notice was given to the farmer holding such kind of land for mutation purposes in preliminary stage. But history shows that role of land holders who belongs to higher castes was dominant in the erstwhile J&K state.
In these days, states were ruled by the sovereign kings and emperors who belonged mostly to the higher castes of the society. In which Jagirdari system was mostly prevalent among the union of states including J&K. During this higher castes were the sole owners of the landholdings and people belonging to the lower castes were made to work for them known as Kammis. In turn, this system has also given birth to tenancy system in which the people from the lower castes would used to cultivate the lands of their Jajmans on share cropping pattern. It was also under the ruling sovereignty of higher caste rulers having systems of landholding as Jagirdari system in the state. In which kings were extremely has owned the land at vast scale and people belonging to the lower castes i.e Mahasha, Chamars, Megh, Nai, Dhobi, Muslims, etc would used to cultivated their land under tenancy system for longer time. Then saviors of the proletariat section did a lot of commendable hardship to get- rid these tenants from the selfish clutches of the callous landlords by announcing land reform in state. They helped tenants to get the Malikana / ownership right over the land to which they used to cultivate then. And setup the uppermost limit of landholdings for the landlords of 6 hectares only. But some influential people including ministers, M.L.As, Bureaucrats, etc has started reclaiming their lands by encroaching Nallahs, ponds, Khads, Ghas- charai (meadows) and snatching the natural resources of state land/ evacuee land in kind- Ghas-Charai, Sarkari-Khads, Nallahs, Sarkar land, etc by legislating a new revenue law called Roshani-Act. Influential and powerful people had vanished almost land resources of ponds, Nallahs, social forestry, etc and had illegally grabbed in guise of this act throughout the whole state. Mostly did so the ruling government’s ministers, MLAs, bureaucrats, businessmen without fulfilling its requisite fee too. As we knew that people belonging to the lower rungs of the society are just backward in their economic, social, civic status, etc so they do not dare to challenge these people. Therefore there emerging within last few decades a very heinous crime in the shape of land encroachment/ land grabbing in which influential land grabbers are playing very predominant role and rendering the original owners of the land i.e., poor strata as landless and penniless and rendering the natural habitats including wild, stray animal & birds congested out of water scarcity, refuge and fodder needs. They largely encroaching the source of livelihood from the proletariat section of the society on the one hand and rendering the congestion for wild animals by bribing the revenue agency in their behalf by letting the Girdawaris and fake Intkals on their own names through this stake scheme in fraudulent manners. Such examples can be seen in samba district where below revenue agency has been cleverly involved in the same profession, where a revenue Patwari had very close connivance with some land grabbers and who have issued up the Fard-Intikhabs on the names of his family members without caring poor peoples’ residential houses which had dilapidated in very bad condition owing to it. In addition same had also grabbed the public street vehemently and avail- one- self of his position in large manners at his residence. Like-minded influential people had rendered their business by grabbing the poor farmers’ land in connivance to some elite officials of Samba district against whom number of complaints also filed but resting in cool boxes. They had installed there big business points and within a short while many of them had turned as business hubs, party offices, residential flats, etc in the state. The voracious people in the wake of this scheme have grabbed almost natural resources like Nallahs cum Khads, grazing grounds mean Ghas- Charai, Rakbas, hills, ponds, river- channels, Basantars, Devikas, etc vehemently here and there throughout the state. In giving it final touch selfish statesmen have neglected to the natural resources needs of the future generation in wide and large manners. To which a large number of people have challenged from time to time in several suitable agencies including high court of the state later which was focused keenly and survey of the complaint had also done. During which it is founded that there occurred blunder scam in connivance to revenue department then.
On mergence of state into centre and forming a union territory there have greater pressure on the government for taking suitable action in this behalf so concerned department heed with particular feedbacks reports. In consequence to it the particular encroachment eviction drive in the Bazaars of Jammu & Kashmir has been started too. Whereas role of land grabbers is moth eating like menace which is turning up the poor people as landless and penniless and give rise to mendicancy, if within a short while the rampant role of encroaching/ land grabbing in guise of Roshni- Act and others would be checked with iron hands. But prompt action in this regard is not yet less than an iconic or magic work for which every common man will be greatly thankful.

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