Fresh Land-grab Charges Against Taj

Fresh Land-grab Charges Against Taj

15 November 2012
Greater Kashmir


Srinagar: Fresh accusation of land grab has surfaced against Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Taj Mohi-ud-Din in Jammu amid political storm over constitution and subsequent dissolution of a House Panel probing similar charges in Kashmir. The fresh allegations were leveled here today by an RTI activist, Arun Gupta, who claimed that the land belonging to two brothers, Tilak Raj and Hem Raj of Chak Lalu Shah Jammu, has been illegally encroached upon by the minister. The land measuring 342 kanals is situated near the proposed artificial lake in Jammu and is worth crores of rupees, he said. The allegations against the minister are that he misused his official position and not only encroached upon the land but even managed to change the revenue record in the name of his three daughters who are presently living in the US. Referring to the record supplied by the Government in response to an RTI application, Gupta said that the two brothers were in continuous physical possession of a piece of land measuring more than 342 kanals but the revenue record was changed and instead three daughters of the minister were shown as being in possession, despite the fact that they were living outside the country. Showing a report submitted by Deputy Commissioner Jammu to Secretary Revenue Department, the RTI activist claimed that the land continued to be in the ownership as well as in possession of Tilak Raj and others, while the names of Shabnam Taj, Nausheen Taj and Urshi Taj were entered only during the settlement operation in 1996-97. “The Deputy Commissioner has noted in his report that the revenue record was changed only when the names of the minister’s daughters were entered as unauthorized occupants”, he claimed. Rebutting the charges, Taj said the matter was pending adjudication with the Jammu Bench of the State High Court and “any opinion or statement at this juncture amounts to contempt of court.” “As the events one after the other are unfolding it smacks of intrigue and conspiracy against me,” Taj said in a statement. He said when some people having vested interests failed on one count, they have now propped up some unknown faces to defame him.