Multi-million land scam in Kashmir; Land mafia sells govt plots


Police is investigating, what could turn out to be a multi-crore, land scam involving sale of residential plots, through fraudulent means, at government-owned Housing Colony Bemina.

According to KNS correspondent, the preliminary investigations by police have revealed that around a dozen residential plots in Housing Colony Bemina, being developed by Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), have been sold by the land mafia in connivance some SDA employees using forged documents including cash receipts, ration cards and bank drafts.

A case has been registered in Police Station Parimpora and investigations have been started to catch hold of all the accused. “Yes a case has been registered in Police Station Parimpora regarding the fraudulent sale of SDA plots and investigations are on,” SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar said.

According to police, the scandal surfaced as one Farooq Ahmad of Bemina recently approached the SDA authorities with an official payment receipt of Rs 5 lakh, purportedly issued by SDA, against a plot at its Housing Colony Bemina. The amount had been shown to be deposited in the name of Vice-Chairman SDA through a Bank Draft prepared at J&K Bank. The SDA authorities got suspicious of the genuineness of the receipt as they found some forged entries in its serial number and on internal inquiry it turned out to be fake.

The matter was immediately referred to the police by the Vice-Chairman SDA, and the police after preliminary investigations found that around a dozen SDA plots have been sold/transferred fraudulently and crores of rupees have so far changed hands in the plot-selling racket involving a group of land brokers and some SDA employees.

Police is also investigating the role of some JK Bank employees of a particular branch in the scandal, who facilitated preparation of fake Bank Drafts.

Meanwhile, according to sources, fearing that the noose was tightening around their neck, the accused SDA employees have suddenly forced a strike in SDA office since Friday to prevent the authorities from proceeding against them. “While the latest strike by SDA employees has been apparently started for some insignificant demands, but the real motive seems to be to pressurize the SDA authorities from initiating action against the employees involved in plot-selling scam,” sources said.

Official sources told KNS the role of the land mafia in sponsoring the ongoing strike by the SDA employees, which was forced immediately after the surfacing of the scandal, is also not being ruled out and police has started investigations into this aspect as well. (KNS)

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