The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday booked former Congress minister Taj Mohiuddin in connection with alleged irregularities in securing proprietary rights to state land in Jammu and Kashmir under a two-decade-old law that the Union territory’s high court has described as unconstitutional and unsustainable.
Mohiuddin denied having benefited from the now repealed Roshni Act, which the administration said was misused to cause a loss of ₹25,000 crore in revenue to the erstwhile state.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to annul all land dealing under the Roshni Act.
“I have never deposited any money in the Roshni scheme, nor has any land been transferred to my name under the scheme. I am not able to understand which case is this. I had never applied for any transfer of land under the Roshni Act,” Mohiuddin said.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, popularly known as the Roshni (light) Act , was enacted in 2001 with the twin objective of generating resources for financing power projects and conferment of proprietary rights to the occupants of the state land in return for a payment. It was repealed in 2018 by then governor Satya Pal Malik.
Mohiuddin is the second Kashmiri politician contesting District Development Council (DDC) polls in J&K to have been booked by a central investigative agency.
On Wednesday, Waheed ur Rehman Parra, president of the youth wing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested after two days of interrogation at the National Investigation Agency’s headquarters in New Delhi in connection with a a case against a senior police officer who was caught in January while ferrying two alleged militants in his car.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti blamed Centre for using agencies to harass Kashmiri leadership.
“Kashmiri leaders are being harassed by GOI’s pet agencies like CBI,NIA & ED. They are being hounded & punished for participating in DDC polls. BJPs designs of foisting puppets & proxies has been derailed much to their chagrin,” Mehbooba tweeted in response to a tweet from news agency ANI in which tge agency said Mohiuddin had been booked by the CBI.
Mohiuddin, who served as minister in the PDP Congress and Congress-National Conference governments twice, has filed his nomination papers as a candidate for the Parenpilla Uri DDC.
PDP has launched a social media campaign in support of Parra, who is contesting the DDC election from Pulwama.
“Arrest of @parawahid on fabricated grounds is brazen show of jackboot approach to curb dissent. We can’t & won’t be forced into accepting the loot perpetrated on our rights and identity. #ReleaseWaheedParra,” tweeted Syed Suhail Bukhari, a PDP spokesman who is contesting the DDC election from Sangrama.
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