Mufti In Blunder Land
Taking Discretionary Funds literally, ex CM puts these funds to personal use at her own discretion
Milqiyat land, grazing land, state land – All put together for The House Of Mufti And Houses Of Some Select VIPs
I do swear in the name of God and solemnly affirm that I will not directly or indirectly divulge my benami properties and I will uphold my cloak and dagger style against the state without fear, affection or regret
– Mehbooba Mufti in her oath-taking ceremony
During the second stint of PDP rule in Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbboba Mufti and her powerful coterie decided to construct residences in Syedpora Chattarhama area of Harwan. About 30 percent land was purchased and seventy percent of land was grabbed illegally for their residential accommodation.
Mehbooba’s coterie that joined her for Project Harwan included Baldev Singh, MD, and CEO of Peaks Auto Private Limited; Farooq Amin, owner of Kanwal Spices; SSP Aijaz Bhat and former ADGP Munir Khan. All of them had been involved in fraudulent transfers from the CM Discretionary Fund. Now they joined Mehbooba for a land grab in the prime areas of Harwan.
Mehbooba and Co purchased milqiyat land in Harwan as part of the project. In addition, the powerful and influential clique also purchased the grazing lands and state land in Harwan. As per state laws, these common lands cannot be sold or purchased.
The grazing lands and state lands were made available to Mehbooba and Co with the help of then Divisional Commissioner Srinagar and with the help of Tehsildar Harwan Dr Haroon Rashid. In the supervision of the Divisional Commissioner and the Tehsildar, the nomenclature of this land was changed. This grazing land was extended illegally to Khasra Number 1096 and 1097, which originally only consisted of milqiyat land.
In March 2020, Dr Haroon Rashid retrieved 45 kanals of government land from illegal occupation in three areas of Harwan. The drive was confined to the locals. It did not impact Mufti and Co. According to revenue officers, the documents have been falsified to such an extent that now they are not able to demarcate between the Milqiyat land in this area, and land under Dafa Paanch (Section 5) or Ghas Charaye (Section 4) land here.
Mufti’s land is registered in the name of her sister Dr Mehmooda Syed, who lives in the US. Mufti’s close relative, KAS officer Riyaz Wani helped her in purchasing the land.
Mehbooba Financed The Construction of Maqbool Beigh’s House
Mufti’s plush house has been constructed over 25 kanals, of which nine kanals are registered. The rest 14 kanals are illegally occupied. The house has a basement too. The construction of the house is complete. In an area where there is no water supply, a submersible motor has been installed especially for her. The area did not have the required infrastructure for power supply. That too was provided for the new VIP residents here.
Mehbooba’s house is adjacent to the house of Maqbool Beigh. According to reliable sources, Beigh had objected to the construction of Mufti’s house. Later the dispute was resolved and it was decided that Beigh’s house shall also be constructed by Mehbooba Mufti. The construction of Beigh’s house started just before the Mufti’s construction and all the expenditure was borne by Madam Mufti. The construction of these two houses was an underhand deal between Maqbool Beigh and Mehbooba Mufti.
The Man Who Twice Hatched The Conspiracy With LeT to Assassinate Mufti Sayeed
The house on the back of Mehbooba Mufti’s house is a palatial structure and carries the name Raj Bhawan. The house belongs to Maqbool Beigh, who has been arrested several times for his terrorist links. In 2006, Maqbool Beigh was detained for being affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). He used to work for LET and provide logistic support to foreign terrorists in the Chatterhama area of Harwan. Beigh also used to transport arms and ammunition from one place to another, and facilitate its storage. In 2005, he twice hatched the conspiracy with LeT and PDP Councillor Abdul Waheed Dar to assassinate Mufti Mohammad Syed. During the investigation of the case, Beigh revealed the conspiracy details to J&K Police under FIR No. 121/05. He accepted that he was part of the conspiracy.
Besides being affiliated with LeT, Beigh is also known as, forest smuggler. After being released from prison, Beigh decided to join politics. At first, he had joined ER Rasheed, but later he joined PDP and is currently working with Mehbooba Mufti. The terror ecosystem of Kashmir is so deeply embedded that a man with a dossier like Maqbool Beigh and established links with terrorists is the trusted lieutenant of Mehbooba Mufti.
Kashmir politics is as filthy as Dal Lake, noted the then American Ambassador to India David Mulford in 2006.
It is known that Beigh tried twice to get Mufti Sayeed assassinated. One would expect Mufti’s daughter to shun the man who tried twice to get the father killed. Mehbooba is such a shrewd woman that she not only allowed Beigh to join her party, but also accommodated him as her neighbour in Harwan and constructed a house for him. What made Mehbooba welcome a suspected terrorist module in her party and her premises? What is the reason behind this association? Is this friendship because of LeT or because of the CM discretionary fund? These terror links and terror funding need to be investigated. The nexus between LeT, the CM discretionary fund and the residences at Harwan need to be investigated.
CM Discretionary Fund for Construction of Personal House
On December 23, 2020, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided an alleged associate of Mufti and recovered at least two diaries. Sources reveal that these diaries carried information about some payments which had been made from the CM’s discretionary fund, in alleged contravention of rules. A criminal case was filed under the provision of the Prevention of Money-laundering Act (PMLA). Reportedly the same CM discretionary fund has been used for the construction of the houses of Mehbooba Mufti and Maqbool Beigh. Sources reveal that bounty from the CM’s discretionary fund changed many hands during the tenure of Mufti. Half of the discretionary fund first went to the US and then from there it was transferred to many accounts including that of Baldev Singh, Farooq Amin, and Maqbool Beigh. Thereafter, the booty was transferred into the accounts of Mehbooba Mufti and her mother Gulshan Nazir.
Divisional Commissioner Protects Illegal, Unauthorised Construction
Is it a mere coincidence that Baldev Singh has occupied approximately 388 kanals in the same vicinity? An FIR was lodged against Baldev Singh for his involvement in CM discretionary fund. It was found that he has links with Mebooba Mufti. Sources reveal that when the fencing work was going on for these 388 kanals, the then Divisional Commissioner made sure that there should be no hindrance from the administration or from the locals at Harwan.
Sources reveal that in the same area if a similar offense was committed by any local person, the administration took prompt action against the illegal occupation and removed it. Sources reveal that Baldev Singh is going to construct huts on this land. He also owns the land on the upper side of Harwan.
Farooq Amin has about 40 kanals of land in the Chattarhama area of Harwan. SSP Aijaz Bhat and his wife Sami Ara have also purchased some chunks of land here. According to sources, Munir Khan has approximately 300 kanals of land in the upper side of Harwan. All of them have land in the same vicinity and have purchased lands concomitantly. Do they all love each other so much that they all want to live close? Or is this some kind of handout to all of them by their boss Mehbooba Mufti? It is interesting that all those people who are under the government scanner for suspicious involvement in the use of the CM discretionary fund have been accommodated living close to each other.
Chaos and confusion in Harwan
Post the land grab and the VIP purchase and occupation of prime land in Harwan, locals say there is total confusion about demarcation of land here. All residents of Harwan have a story to share about land-grabbing here. According to the landlords living here for many years, the non-residents of Harwan have grabbed and illegally. Long-time landlords at Harwan also say that if they sold 2 percent of their land, they later found that the influential and VIP buyer had illegally occupied 60 percent of their land.
Non-residents of Harwan who have purchased land here claim that the brokers have sold the same plot to two buyers. When one tries to start construction, the broker informs the other buyer that someone has started construction on their land. Fights ensue, and in this way no one is able to start construction. There are rumours that Baldev Singh has some dispute with Farooq Amin over 20 kanals of land on the upper stretches of Baldev’s purchased land area.
Some buyers claim that when they purchased the land, they were informed that it is Milqiyat property. But when they start some construction or fencing, the administration swings into action. The construction is brought down by the state on the ground that this is state land and ghas charay. But no such action is initiated against bigwigs like Baldev Singh. The administration makes sure that no one comes their way when they undertake construction.
In 2015, land disputes in the area became so unmanageable that an investigating team was set up under the supervision of DC Ganderbal Showkat Aijaz. The team found that there was an excess of illegal entries in the revenue records for multiple ownership over the same plots. The DC declared these purchases null and void and kept the dispute in abeyance. When contacted, Showkat Aijaz said that he does not remember anything about the disputes now.
KZINe contacted the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar under whose tenure these illegal and unauthorized land transfers happened. The officer requested anonymity and stated that no land was illegally transferred during his tenure. KZINE reminded that DC that some entries in land records were canceled by then Assistant Commissioner Revenue. On being asked how many entries were canceled and why they were canceled, the DC replied, “That is not in my knowledge. I do not remember how many entries were canceled.”
The KZINE correspondent asked the officer whether any illegal land grabbing at Harwan had happened during his tenure. The officer responded, “How can we allow land grabbing? How can the concerned revenue officers allow land grabbing? You can check the records for the same.”
Milqiyat, Section 4 and Section 5
Milqiyat: This is the land that is registered as individual property with the revenue department. Construction on milqiyat land is allowed in the authorized area.
Section 5 (Dafa 5 or Shamilat): This is the land adjoining the milqiyat land limiting up to the shadow of the trees. Section 5 land is included in milqiyat land to the point where some trees may be standing.
Section 4 (Ghas charay, Kahcharai or grazing land): People can use this land only for grazing purposes but not for construction and agricultural purposes. There is no legal ownership of any individual over this land.