Taj writes to Forest Minister

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‘Ready to part with forest land, if any’

SRINAGAR – Caught amidst unending controversies, Minister for PHE and Irrigation, Taj Mohiudddin today asked the state’s Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad to constitute a committee of officials to probe into allegations of land grab against him.

In a letter addressed to the Forest Minister, Taj has asked Mian Altaf to constitute a joint committee of forest officials and revenue officials to inquire into the charges of land grab against him.

“I shall be thankful, if you please look into the matter personally and get a joint committee of Revenue/Forest Departments constituted to demarcate the land under reference once again, in order to clinch the issue once for all, so that the records are put straight and un-necessary coverage through print/electronic media, which tends to undermine my image, due to the vilifications campaign launched against me that takes years to built”, read the letter circulated to media through e mail.

Taj ha also volunteered to part with any part of the land under his possession if found to be belonging to the forest department.

“Besides, if the committee comes to the conclusion that any portion of Forest Land is under my occupation as per the records, which is not so, the same may be withdrawn”, the letter adds.

“The allegations being made speak of malafide,intentional and personnel enmity just to tarnish/injure my reputation and defame me as a Minister. It seems that there are certain quarters inimical to my person hell-bent to tarnish my image.They are telling the lies like “Goebbels Truth” and giving just a belief of being it a truth ”,Taj laments in the letter.

Taj has claimed in the letter that the issue was looked into by the Accountability Commission in the year September, 2005 and probed by Vigilance Organization, Kashmir in the year 2011 conveying that there was no Forest land grabbed.

“As you are aware that the mere presence of conifer trees does not make it a forest like some sparrows do not make a summer.”, the letter reads.

He has also accused the forest officials of claiming revenue land as forest land without initiating actual demarcation of land.

“The relevant entries in the revenue record stands made in the year 1984. The related documents dated 12.03.1984 along with communication No. 1459/PCC dated 23.10.1985 of Conservator of Forests, Kashmir, South Circle addressed to DFO, Shopian Division and letter No. 956-57/OG dated 14.10.1985 from Tehsildar Shopian to the address of Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama with a copy to DFO Shopian and copy of Form 25 in the matter are enclosed. Besides, worth to mention that the relevant documents under “Roshni Act” stands as well deposited in respect of my land at Sedow, Shopian”, the letter reads.

Meanwhile, Taj Mohiuddin while talking to KNS confirmed that he had written a letter to the Forest Minister to set up a committee for investigating charges of land grab against him. He said he had done so to rest the matter once and for all in view of reports appearing in a Jammu based newspaper today.

KNS tried to contact, Forest Minister Mian Altaf Ahmad for comments, however, despite repeated attempts could not be reached. However, sources close to the forest minister told KNS that the letter had not reached the minister yet.

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