Roshni Scam – second list published by J&K Administration

Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday released a second list of people who are now owners of land acquired under the discarded J&K Roshni Act. This second list of 269 people (131 in Kashmir, 138 in Jammu) includes the names of the trustee of Digiana Ashram, Mahant Manjeet Singh, Congress leader KK Amla, hotelier Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, former bureaucrat Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya and his wife and Suriya Abdullah, the sister of NC chief and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

Most of the 131 beneficiaries, whose names feature in the second list of the Kashmir divisional commissioner released on Wednesday, legalised their place of residence under the Roshni scheme while others acquired ownership rights of commercial buildings. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah has strongly denied administration’s claims that his residence in Jammu stands on illegally grabbed land. “I have purchased every inch of land where my house was built in 1998. Falsehood is being unleashed to defame me,” Mr Abdullah told the media after a list from the administration naming encroachers was made public last evening.

In October, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, in a landmark judgement, had declared the controversial Roshni Act “unconstitutional” and directed that investigation into the land allotment scheme under it be transferred to the CBI. According to an order by the J&K High Court, the UT’s administration has to release the list of beneficiaries who acquired land under the Roshni Act scheme within one month.

The J&K administration has published the list of beneficiaries of Rs 25,000 land allotment scam under the Roshni Act on its website. The list includes the names of top politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen who allegedly encroached upon the public land. The CAG report estimated that against the targeted Rs 25,000 crore, only Rs 76 crore had been realized from the transfer of land into private ownership.