3 kanals, 18 marlas plus 6 marlas – Sagar’s Palatial Residence Adjoining Airport Made On Ghair Mumkin Land
Terrorism The Smokescreen For Land Grab By The High And Mighty
The UT administration recently ordered the evacuation and retrieval of state and community land illegally and unlawfully occupied by the land mafias. Ditto to what is observed across the Indian sub-continent, the land mafia in Kashmir includes politicians, businessmen and politico-religious organizations like Jamaat e Islami. The field officers of the revenue department have been directed to identify, demarcate and retrieve such government and community properties. But on ground, the execution and implementation of the order has hit road blocks. The reason is obvious. The same officers who are responsible for making false entries in revenue records and allowing the mafia to occupy state and community land cannot be the guardians.
For the sake of eyewash, Tehsildars and other revenue officials are showing some kind of progress on retrieval on record only where petty farmers and landless Kashmiris have encroached upon state land. Big sharks are not being touched.
So we now have a situation where the land grab by leaders of National Conference, People’s Democratic Party and other political players is commonly known. They have illegally and unlawfully occupied state and community land, but nobody is daring the bell the cat. Take for instance the land grab by National Conference General Secretary and former minister Ali Mohammad Sagar. The NC leader has illegally occupied large chunks of state land in Budgam district.
Benami Properties Aplenty
Ali Mohammad Sagar has huge benami properties in Budgam, Charar e Sharief and BK Pora tehsils in Budgam district. The revenue officials of the area and also the top officialdom are aware of these benami properties. But no one is bothered to hold an enquiry into the scam and hold Sagar accountable.
Sagar has an impressive list of properties registered in the name of his wife Mst Saleema and son Salman Ali Sagar, the former Mayor of Srinagar and incumbent youth president, JK National Conference Kashmir. In addition, Sagar Senior has many properties registered in the name of his distant relatives and friends in Budgam and Srinagar districts. According to senior revenue officials, the property housing the district godowns of Food Corporation of India (FCI) at Chandpora in Budgam district belong to Ali Mohammad Sagar. This property is registered in the name of his distant relative Abdul Majeed, a resident of Bemina, Srinagar. Likewise, Sagar owns a huge benami property along the Nowgam-Lasjan bypass near Padshahi Bagh. This too is registered in the name of some distant relative. Senior revenue officials told KZINE that both benami properties include encroachment of state land, and wrong entries have been made in the revenue records. According to revenue officers, Salman Ali Sagar is in possession of 40 kanals of land which include state land at Charar e Sharief.
Land Grab With Style
Amazing as it is, the huge palatial house constructed by Ali Mohammand Sagar close to the main gate of Srinagar International Airport has come up on state land. Revenue records accessed by KZINE reveal that this grand house has been constructed on Ghair Mumkin land. The land measuring 3 kanals and 18 marlas under Khasra Number 1015 is registered in the name of Mst Saleema, wife of Ali Mohammad Sagar, resident of Nawabazar, Srinagar.
Spot verification revealed that Sagar has further encroached upon state land facing the airport road. Office-cum-guard room has come up beyond the Khasra Number 1015 on which the house has been constructed. According to revenue officials, additional six marlas have been encroached by Sagar beyond the specified 3 kanal 18 marlas. The encroachment of state and other community land by the political class has largely gone unchecked in Jammu and Kashmir. The recent order issued by the UT Administration for demarcation and retrieval of state land has not stopped the land mafia from the illegal occupation of such properties. KZINE learnt from reliable sources that there are efforts by the land mafia to get false entries in the revenue records .Glaring instances of false entries have been reported from Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam districts during the last few weeks. The land mafia is busy in warming the palms of revenues officers so that illegal property holders cannot be faulted in the records. The LG administration needs to ensure that the orders are not diluted by the vested interests.
Ali Mohammad Sagar: Kashmir’s Political EliteTerrorism has served as a useful smokescreen for land grab in Kashmir. The state has remained focused on monitoring and controlling stone-pelting, street protests and terror attacks. In the meanwhile, blatant occupation of government and community land has continued unchecked. The land mafia, which usually involves the high and mighty, has been happily accommodated by revenue officials, who are usually hand-in-glove with looters. No concrete steps have been taken to identify and question the looters of state and community-owned property.While Kashmir remained on the boil, the political elites greedily encroached upon state land, community land, grazing land and the like. In order to make sure that their unlawful acts went unchecked, they created a web to cover their wrongdoings, and showcase it in a manner that seems legally correct. At some places, the entire revenue map was redesigned so that the encroached land is shown as registered property (milkiyat). The list of political land grabbers is long. A typical case is that of former MLA Khanyar and senior National Conference leader Ali Mohammad Sagar, son of late Ghulam Qadir, resident of Nawabazar, Srinagar. Sagar consecutively six times won the Khanyar Assembly segment, starting from 1996 to 2014. From the beginning, Sagar has maintained the image of the gentle NC loyalist. Sagar was Minister For Rural Development in the Omar Abdullah Cabinet. He was appointed as National Conference General Secretary in 2014. In a rally in June 2019, Sagar called terrorists Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa martyrs.
Safa Marwah Medical Centre, Soura
Safa Marwah Medical Centre at Iqbal Colony, Soura, is secretly jointly owned by Dr. Nazira Farooq and Salman Sagar. The Medical Centre was inaugurated in 2015, but Sagar’s involvement was never made public