Tightening noose


A major Defence lands rent scam worth several crores has been unearthed in Rajouri district of Jammu region, as over 50 farmers residing closer to the Line of Control (LoC) were getting rent of over 400 kanals of land from the Indian Army which was actually existing in Pakistan occupied Kashmir since decades.These startling revelations came to the light when on a specific complaint, a villager from Nowshera area recently, disclosed the matter to some agencies in Jammu and also the District Administration Rajouri. It was revealed that about 50 odd farmers residing closer to the LoC in Jhangar, Kalsian and adjoining areas inNowshera sector, with the connivance of Revenue officials including concerned Patwaris, Girdawars, Naib Tehsildars and Tehsildar and a few officials from the Defence Estates Department (MoD) were drawing rent for the last more than three decades, on fake documents of the land which actually existed in PoK. A special team from Central Bureau of Investigation from Delhi was deputed to investigate the case and fix responsibility on the officials and other people involved in this Defence land scandal worth tens of crores. The CBI team comprising of seven officials headed by an officer of SSP rank secured record from the senior Revenue officials at Rajouri on Friday and also paid visit to Nowsheraarea. They also sought the list of the beneficiaries who are about 50 in number. The CBI team besides, scrutinizing the relevant Revenue record also secured information about the names of officials/ officers who prepared the forged documents, just to siphon out Defence funds worth cores, fill their own coffers and also provide benefit to the people of the land which no where exists under Indian control but is actually lying on other side of the Line of Control.
The Revenue record was found that this land under Khasras shown actually falls somewhere on that side of the fence and in PoK. But they managed to secure rent from the Ministry of Defence (CDA) regularly and this scam went unnoticed since long. The DC said in the first step, he wrote to the Defence Estates Department and stopped the payment of rent during ending 2017. At present, the direct payment from Defence Estates Deptt to the accounts of the beneficiaries has been stopped. The case is now lying with the CBI. As per rough estimates in just last 10-12 years, they have siphoned out rent more than Rs 10 crores of about 400 kanals of land located on that side of the LoC. He said some Revenue officers led by Additional Deputy Commissioner were coordinating with the CBI team and assisting them to reach up to the depth of this case and fix responsibility on the officials responsible for preparing fake Revenue documents. This is biggest ever fraud committed in this area in the recent past.

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