Raids conducted at 10 locations including Jammu, Kathua
STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU/KATHUA: The CBI has registered a case against a Kathua-based educational trust, run by former Jammu and Kashmir BJP Minister Ch Lal Singh’s wife, and some government officials to probe encroachment on a huge tract of government land.When contacted, Singh told PTI, “The CBI is doing its work.”The CBI said in a statement, Searches were conducted today at 10 locations including Jammu and Kathua at the premises of aforesaid educational trust/its Chairperson and residential premises of other accused which led to recovery of documents related to movable/immovable property, etc.A huge contingent of police reached Lal Singh’s Kathua residence and conducted day long searches.The case has been registered against R B Educational Trust through its chairperson and Singh’s wife Kanta Andotra, former Deputy Commissioner of Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal and former Tehsildar of Marheen Avatar Singh.Besides, the then Naib Tehsildar Chann Rorian (Marheen Tehsil) Des Raj, the then Girdawar Ram Pal, the then Patwari Sudesh Kumar and other unknown persons have also been booked, the statement said.The Central Bureau of Investigation had in June registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) on the allegations of encroachment on a huge tract of public/government/forest land in Kathua by certain persons in violation of J&K Agrarian Reforms Act in connivance with revenue and forest officials, the statement said.It was further alleged that the accused were involved in the conspiracy with the aforesaid Educational Trust through its chairperson to allow the trust to retain the land beyond the permissible ceiling limit of 100 standard kanal fixed in the Agrarian Reforms Act by deliberately giving the wrong exemption of 32 kanals of grazing land as per aforesaid Act and showing the land as ‘orchard’ which was not an orchard as per revenue record, it said.It was also alleged that the educational trust, in connivance with the other accused, got done wrong calculation of standard kanal of the land measuring 316 Kanal and 17 Marlas to escape the ceiling imposed by the J&K Agrarian Reforms Act, the statement said.
Kanal and Marlas are traditional land measurement units.It was further alleged that a false information was submitted in the affidavit filed by one of the accused during June, 2015 before the court in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) so as to save the Trust from any adverse order, the CBI said.The trust runs a school, B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education) and nursing colleges on the land, officials said, adding its transactions are being probed by the central agency for alleged irregularities in its purchase.Singh quit the BJP last year and floated the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan (DSS).He along with the then industries minister Chander Prakash Ganga had resigned from the PDP-BJP dispensation in 2018 after questions were raised over their participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally organised in support of those arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua that year.Earlier, on September 1, the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) had sought the details related to the property registered in the name of Chaudhary Lal Singh and his family members. The CBI had asked for the details related to the posting of Ajay Singh Jamwal as Deputy Commissioner of Kathua District.The CBI letter also questioned the mode of the receipt of the representation dated May 10, 2015 submitted by Kanta Andotra of R B Educational Trust in the office of DC Kathua.“If the aforesaid representation was received through post, then furnish, the certified copy of the receipt register and if the aforesaid representation was received in person, then by whom it was submitted in the office and by whom it was received along with the certified copy of the visitor register for that day”, the CBI had asked the DC Kathua with a direction to file the reply at an earliest.The CBI in a written communiqué to DC Kathua also sought complete details of the property registered in the name of Chaudhary Lal Singh, son of Sharan Singh, Kanta Andotra, wife of Chaudhary Lal Singh, Kamiya Andotra, daughter of Chaudhary Lal Singh, Divya Suraj Pratap Singh and Divya Chander Pratap Singh, both sons of Chaudhary Lal Singh.On June 25, the CBI had registered a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe allegations of land grabbing and corruption by an educational trust run by Choudhary Lal Singh.
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