State Times News JAMMU: Condemning construction of a residential bungalow by ex-Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on a disputed land, the former Minister J&K, Yogesh Sawhney on Sunday urged LG to hold detailed judiciary enquiry in the matter. In a press statement issued here, Sawhney alleged that the construction of a palatial bungalow in Nagrota by aforesaid BJP leader remained under scrutiny since 2018, when top BJP leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, including Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta purchased, via a company ‘Himgiri Infrastructure Development’, a chunk of land right next to Army’s Ammunition Depot in Nagrota. Accusing BJP of putting national security in peril, Sawhney asked why construction over such a piece of land was allowed even after the Army had expressed apprehensions time and again. The Congress leader demanded detailed inquiry and resolution of the matter. “I urge Lt Governor G C Murmu to get to the bottom of such matters, with involvement of many senior BJP leaders,” he asserted. Requesting for approaching the High Court, Sawhney sought one-man Commission comprising a sitting HC Judge to conduct a formal inquiry in the matter, to seek judicial help besides holding detailed enquiry in Himgiri Infrastructure Development Case, in a timely manner. “Moreover, the administration needs to find out how many BJP leaders have occupied lands by sheer political force and power they enjoyed at the behest of trust of the public. BJP leaders in J&K have been named in many land dispute cases and the recent complaint filed by the ex-Deputy CM showcases their fears of being exposed and futile attempts to regain control over their lies, which have been uncovered. In 2018 itself, after a petition, which was filed by Indian Army in the J&K High Court against the construction, the High Court had directed the authorities to follow guidelines of the Defence Act, which prohibits such constructions. Even that did not stop BJP leaders from continuing the construction work against judicial orders, which is sheer abuse of power,” commented Sawhney. “The former Deputy Chief Minister is constructing a dream house in Nagrota, forgetting his duties as a public person and as a citizen. The land, on which aforementioned property stands, clearly comes under the jurisdiction where construction has been prohibited. The Defence Act prohibits any construction within prescribed distance from Army depot for security reasons. It implies that the construction is not only objectionable but also illegal,” alleged Sawhney. “BJP has become a new land mafia in J&K. Many senior reputed leaders are using their political stature to acquire benefits. Their actions show sheer violation of people’s security, people’s rights and people’s trust. This is not only one case but there are many other similar cases on the larger level, showing a systemic failure caused by BJP. Thus, the matter needs urgent redressal from the judiciary and other competent authorities. All land grabbing and land dispute cases, involving BJP leaders, should be immediately investigated to prevent them from cheating law and betraying people,” demanded Sawhney. According to a notification issued in 2015, any constructions in the concerned area require permission of the Commanding Officer. It is alleged that BJP leader misused his power to illegally acquire land, which violated certain provisions of the Defence Act. “The structure constructed is in close vicinity of Army’s Ammunition Depot, which is sheer violation of the Defence Act. As such, the illegal construction should be stopped by the authorities. Moreover, all evidences suggesting illegality of the act are already in public domain,” the Congress leader added. Condemning the complaint lodged against Advocate Shakeel by ex-Deputy CM Nirmal Singh, Sawhney said, “The complaint is completely baseless. The only logic behind it is to suppress voices of those who are exposing BJP leaders’ abuse of power.” Advocate Shakeel had recently posted pictures and videos of Nirmal Singh’s allegedly illegal bungalow constructed on disputed land on social media, countering which the former Deputy Chief Minister had filed a complaint against the advocate.
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