Land mafia eats forest land

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Forest and Environment Minister Bali Bhagat in a recent statement has admitted that there is a nexus between land grabbers, police officers, revenue officials and senior politicians of the state who have encroached upon the forest land. 

Though he also assured that the records from archives would be used to retrieve the land from illegal occupants. But, this is high time that the state government should stop blame game and come clean on this serious issue.

The allegation of the Minister is a very serious in nature and needs immediate action. It is unfortunate that despite knowing the facts about the involvement of these officials,  no action has been taken against them so far. It would have been better that for the sake of transparency if the minister had revealed  the names  of these corrupt politicians and police officers who till now are enjoying perks and official protocol.

Of the 22 districts, there is no district in the state where the state land, forest land, irrigation land belonging to government is not illegally occupied with the full support and patronage of the revenue officials.

The land grabbers have not spared our forests, graveyards, cremation grounds, temples, other religious places, schools, rivers, Khads, wetlands, hills, plains, Nallahs and playgrounds. It is time for the deputy commissioners of all the districts should also act tough against the rogue elements in their offices and put an embargo on this practice.

Former Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla where had assured that the state government would invoke Public Safety Act against the land grabbers but unfortunately it was just rhetoric, not even a single land grabber was ever even arrested for usurping the state land. State Land worth billions of rupees is under illegal occupation of the miscreants who without any legal right playing hide and seek with the government. 

It is also the responsibility of the State Vigilance Commission to take cognizance pf the statement and take legal action in this matter without any further delay.

Director General of Police should have  at least ordered a departmental probe to identify the black sheeps in the police department who do not hesitate to grab government land by using their official men and machinery. 

There must be coordination between the executive wing, Law department and the prosecution wing of the state to act against these mafias. Let’s hope, the present dispensation of PDP-BJP act and break this unholy nexus of police-politicans and land grabbers.

Raman Sharma 

Jammu

jkrtiact@gmail.com

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