Controversy Erupts as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Booked for Land Encroachment

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and six others have been accused of encroaching on evacuee land in Srinagar by the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau. Farooq denies the allegations, claiming they are attempts to malign and harass him. An investigation is now underway.

PTI | Srinagar | Updated: 22-05-2024 17:12 IST | Created: 22-05-2024 17:12 IST
Controversy Erupts as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Booked for Land Encroachment
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Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is among seven people booked by the Jammu and Kashmir Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly encroaching on evacuee land here, a charge denied by the separatist leader.

Officials said the ACB has filed an FIR and handed over the investigation to a DSP-rank officer.

The FIR was filed after the ACB conducted a preliminary inquiry which revealed that a woman named Dil Rafiqa was unlawfully granted evacuee land by the Custodian Department without proper government sanction and an open auction, violating established provisions, officials said. The enquiry uncovered that land belonging to Imam-u-Din, located at Saderbal Hazratbal under survey number 640, was allocated to several individuals, including Dil Rafiqa, in gross violation of rules.

It stated that six people, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, encroached on land measuring seven kanal 19 marla 97 sq ft.

The accused include Dil Rafiqa, a resident of Hazratbal, Srinagar, Majid Khalil Ahmad Drabu, a bureaucrat and resident of Qammerwari, Mohammad Amin Khan, a resident of Saderbal, Abdul Majeed Bhat, a resident of Saderbal, and Qazi Bilal Ahmad, resident of Nigeen.

The investigation revealed that officers and officials from the Custodian and Revenue Departments ''colluded'' with the beneficiaries, engaging in ''corrupt practices and abusing their positions'', the officials said.

They said the officials dishonestly allocated evacuee land, ignoring prevailing rules, and failed to act against the encroachers, resulting in undue benefits for themselves and the beneficiaries, causing a significant loss to the state exchequer.

These actions constitute offences under section 5(1)(D) read with section 5(2) of the J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, Sv. 2006, and section 120B RPC. Consequently, a case (FIR No. 10/2024) has been registered at police station ACB Srinagar, they added.

However, Mirwaiz has termed the ACB's claims false and said it was an attempt to malign and harass him.

In a statement, Mirwaiz Manzil Nigeen said the attempt to ''malign and harass'' is clear from the threat of eviction, when he has received no intimation or notice on this matter from the ACB.

''It is part of the same vehement print, electronic and social media propaganda carried out against the Mirwaiz in 2018 when multiple properties including the properties of Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, Anjuman Nusratul Islam, Darul ul Khair Mirwaiz Manzil were all attributed to him and later all proved to be false and baseless,'' the statement said.

''Such things will not cow Mirwaiz down,'' it said. ''The fact of the matter is that no property at present -- house or land -- belongs to Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Nigeen. The residential land and house where he lives in Nigeen was purchased and built upon by his father Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq in 1973, the same year Mirwaiz Umar was born. Its boundary walls are the same since that year,'' the statement said.

From 1990 till today, the Mirwaiz had no inkling of this matter as no information or notice was ever sent or shared with him by the concerned.

''If as per the authorities, there was any issue involved, the concerned, as is the procedure, should have intimated the Mirwaiz instead of 'instantly booking' him in the case. The motive to malign and defame is apparent,'' the statement said.

It said the Mirwaiz's close kin who is also being implicated, is a well-respected civil servant known for his integrity, and neither of the two have and nor God willing will do anything immoral and illegal.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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