RTI reveals land scam in the heart of Srinagar
An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by a resident of Srinagar has revealed a land scam to the tune of crores. A person named Ajab Singh, son of Late Gopal Singh, a non-state subject of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), has allegedly sold a property of 6 Kanals and 14 marlas along with 2 buildings situated at Magarmal Bagh of Srinagar. This property worth a few crores has reportedly been sold to a few Kashmiris by acquiring a permanent resident certificate (PRC) in a fraudulent manner.
In 2011, the then divisional commissioner of Kashmir ordered the constitution (order number 14-17/SQ/MLA/2139/MR) of a committee to ascertain the legal heir of a said General Sahab Bhadur, the actual owner of the property. As per the findings of the committee, Ajab Singh of Nai Basti of Jammu was declared as the legal heir.
As per the state constitution of J&K, one cannot buy or sell a property unless he/she is a permanent resident of the state. In the case of Ajab Singh, an RTI application filed by one of the buyers of the property has revealed that he is neither a resident of Kashmir nor he was registered as a migrant, making him a non-state subject as well as unauthorized to own the property. After this fact became public, the district administration has banned any further sell of the land and has ordered that incase of no real owner of the property being found, the property would be deemed to be government property.