‘Charity begins at home’
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Peeved over the bulldozing of the houses of poor people particularly the labourers and farmers to the exclusion of rich and the mighty, Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman and former Minister lambasted the govt for failing to retrieve the encroached State lands from the BJP Ministers, MLAs and MPs.
“Charity begins at home. The demolition exercise must begin by dismantling the illegal structures raised on the encroached lands by the land mafia and those having access to the corridors of power. You have though identified some of the big encroachers of parties like Congress, NC and PDP but seemed to have given a free hand to the notorious land grabbers of your own party besides the demolition process has been initiated purely on pick and choose basis by overlooking the huge land chunks usurped by the leaders of your party”, asserted Singh. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu today.
Speaking to the media, Harsh said that the entire exercise of anti-encroachment drive would turn futile unless every big fish including the Saffron MPs, Ministers and MLAs having usurped State and Forest lands worth millions and trillions are evicted by the administration and punished under law before laying their hands upon the poor and the landless.
Seeking early action and eviction proceedings against them, Singh admonished the govt functionaries for succumbing meekly under the influence of their political masters to conceal the names of the BJP leaders who had usurped huge chunk of State, Forest and JDA land and enjoying immunity from legal and departmental action.
Drawing the attention of Union MoS Anurag Thakur towards the land encroached by his party colleagues, Singh said while the names of political leaders hailing from opposition parties including Congress, NC and PDP have been brought to fore as land encroachers in the public domain , the BJP leaders were left untouched and undisturbed despite they being the major offenders.
He advised Thakur to have a peep into the dirty laundry of his own party. Showing the copy of a RTI reply, he divulged that one BJP ex-MLA R.S Pathania of District Udhampur had been openly claiming that none can touch his land holdings despite the said reply pointing towards 32 kanals and 9 marlas State land under his illegal possession including 9 kanals and 14 marlas usurped under Roshni scheme. He has also swindled the subsidies of horticulture and agriculture schemes as revealed in the RTI reply which were otherwise meant for the poor.
He further pointed out that former Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh had blatantly constructed a palatial bungalow near vital Army installations at village Panj Grain in Nagrota in violation of the guidelines of Ministry of Defence. He not only ignored the Military norms but also dubbed it ‘anti-people’.
“Likewise another BJP ex-Minister from Kalakote Abdul Gani Kohli has reportedly encroached a huge chunk of forest land to raise palatial bungalows. Another ex- Minister of Saffron party Chander Prakash Ganga who has encroached lands all over has also earned a dubious notoriety of usurping lands of poor by coercion and other unlawful tactics. He cared a damn whether the encroached land belonged to State, Forests or JDA and pressed his JCBs into service to infringe upon even the private lands beyond the horizon. This is just to name a few, there are many others in the que”, Harsh revealed.
Asserting that politicians and bureaucrats were not above law, Singh sought appropriate action against all Ministers, legislators and bureaucrats who had encroached govt lands. He described the selective action of administration govt against the opposition parties as ‘witch hunting’ and the eviction of poor and un influential as act of ‘cowardice’. Mr. Singh sought to ensure vacation of illegal possession of encroachers and other elites by making a beginning from the BJP MPs, Ministers and MLAs. “Are such people above law or does the administration have two sets of laws in the state, one for the BJP and other for the opposition parties and the poor?”, questioned Singh.
Gagan Pratap Singh State Secretary–JKNPP, Parshotam Parihar State Secretary Panthers Trade Union and Raj Pratap Singh Youth leader were also present in the press conference.