Multi-crore Marhama land scam echoes in LA again

SRINAGAR: The ruling National Conference (NC) and opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members Saturday for the third consecutive day entered into heated arguments over alledged multi-crore Marhama land scam.

NC members demanded the resignation of Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni while PDP legislators urged upon Speaker Mubarak Gul get the matter thoroughly probed so that guilty be punished.

As the Assembly proceeding were going on and National Panthers Party members were raising slogans alleging the injustice is being done towards Jammu division, National Conference legislator Nasir Aslam Wani brought the issue into the notice of Speaker Mubarak Gul, requesting him to inform the House about the progress of inquiry into the alleged scam.

The Speaker said that Crime Branch has been active and are pursuing the case while it has submitted a report before the House. Mubarak Gul said the state crime branch had seized all revenue documents pertaining to the alleged scam and these have been placed before him for perusal so that these are not tampered with to mislead investigations.

Though most of the NC legislators remained silent, however two legislators Nasir Aslam Wani and Muhammad Akbar Lone demanded resignation from the Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni after the Speaker informed the House that the sale document carries signatures of deputy speaker as a witness to the sale deed.

Madni defended himself reiterating he would resign from the house if he is proved to have been a beneficiary of the said deed although he had signed it as a witness. “I repeat that I have not purchased even a marla of this land. I am signatory to the deed as a witness which I did for the benefit of the villagers,” Madni said.

National Conference leaders Muhammad Akbar Lone and Nasir Aslam Wani said a PDP member is the beneficiary of the sale deed in the alleged land scam and, therefore, the transaction was more or less in the nature of a ‘Benami sale deed’.

The NC leaders said the beneficiary had changed the status of the agricultural land besides grabbing state land in Marhama.

Countering the comment, PDP leader A.R. Veeri said the state government had given permission for conversion of agricultural land for other purposes to the beneficiary. “You failed to corner us and you failed to prove your point. Now you are talking in the air,” Veeri told NC members.

Revenue Minister Ajaz Ahmed Khan reiterated that the government has not given any permission while the permission it had given was only for improvement and not conversion of the said agricultural land.

While members of the NC and the PDP engaged in heated arguments, members of the opposition BJP said the house proceedings had finally been reduced to a battle of power between the Abdullahs and the Muftis.

Alleging that both NC and PDP members are sailing in the same boat, the BJP members amid slogans staged a walk out while the NPP members were marshaled out after they stormed into the well. 

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