Roshni scam brought darkness in Kashmir
In the post-independence political life and governance of Jammu and Kashmir, there have been many corruption, scams, illegal acts and economic crimes.
(The writer is a journalist and columnist.
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In the post-independence political life and governance of Jammu and Kashmir, there have been many corruption, scams, illegal acts and economic crimes. After the abolition of Article 370 and leading the process of implementing a healthy democratic system there, their layers are now eroding. A big scam has exposed 25 thousand crores in the guise of the Roshni Act in Jammu and Kashmir. Actually, it appears to be an electrical scam by name, but it is the biggest land scam related to the politics of Jammu and Kashmir and the darkness of governance. Since independence, political and social interests have turned the history and culture of Kashmir in the opposite direction, the corrupt, disruptive and terrorist culture was brought under a conspiracy. But no degeneracy can be magnified by trampling its original culture.
Under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the anarchy, politics of selfishness, dominance of every aspect of Kashmir's life is being removed to eliminate the menace that poses a threat to the character of this province, to establish ideal governance.
During the CBI investigation in this biggest scam of Jammu and Kashmir, the names of many big leaders, officers and businessmen have been revealed. Prominent among them are former finance minister Haseeb Drabu, former home minister Sajjad Kichlu, former ministers Abdul Majeed Wani and Aslam Goni, National Congress leader Saeed Akhoon and former bank chairman MY Khan. About 21 lakh kanals of land in Jammu and Kashmir were illegally occupied by the people. The erstwhile governments, instead of removing illegal possession, enacted a law to give the people the ownership of these lands, which was called the Roshni Act or Roshni Scheme.
But by taking advantage of the act, politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen monitored government and forest land. Now in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, it is expected that under the pressure of the judiciary, these illegal encroachments on government land will be removed and action will be taken against the culprits. More layers will open in the CBI investigation and the raw letter of the beneficiaries will be revealed.
The character of the politics of Jammu and Kashmir has been influenced by a variety of national pressures, in which terrorism has been nurtured while strengthening the ground of economic crimes. The irony is that the people of this province have been constantly pushing politicians for their economic gains and interests in the fire of violence, anarchy and terrorism, in which the government of the province has been getting protection and financial support from the Central Government. Now, if there is any effort in Jammu and Kashmir for character building, development, peace and harmony, these corrupt politicians feel that it is an alien element which is being ingrained in our lives.
The dignity, good faith and true conduct on which our national character and culture has been living, social system has been maintained, life has been practiced, they were deliberately extinct in this province. Some of the so-called politicians and abominable politics had put the cloth which was covering the existence and identity and peaceful life of this province and hung it on the pegs. As if it was a matter of ancestors, which has now become the biggest obstacle for the benefit and selfishness of the corrupt and national leaders of this province. With the opening of this big scam, corrupt politicians who believe in the fate of Jammu and Kashmir have lost their sleep. Sleep has been blown since his abolition of Article 370. That is why the sharp reactions of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders are continuously coming out and they have also formed an organization to fight for the rights of Kashmiris and for the restoration of Article 370.
The anger of these politicians is so fierce that Farooq Abdullah insults the tricolor when he talks about seeking China's help for the restoration of Article 370. It is but natural for such national events and anomalous statements to concern not only the province but the nation as a whole.
Leaders like Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Ghulam Nabi of Jammu and Kashmir squeezed the wealth of the province as much as they could for themselves. Corrupt conduct and behaviour did not hurt them. Everyone had their own personal principles; the definition of corruption was made new. Those doing such good and selfish politics do not work for the uplift of the province and society, but they had a very narrow floor in front of them to gain power and earn money. It was paramount for them to adopt such a strategy, which could get them power again and again. Politics of note and vote and social uplift policy are both opposite poles. One organizes the nation, the other disintegrates. But these leaders, following the second policy, not only looted Kashmir, scammed, skeletonized the province, but also inflicted violence and terrorism.
Due to Article 370, till date the central governments have spent so much money in Jammu and Kashmir that there is no account of it. The so-called leaders and separatists of the province built immense wealth in the country and abroad with government money and money from Pakistan and the Gulf countries, while the Kashmiri children got stones and weapons in their hands, snatched their smiles and blocked the path of development. Hundreds of crores of government land was taken under the guise of a law made in the name of illuminating the houses of the poor. The waste and fertile land of peace was barren and disturbed. Ever since Jammu and Kashmir was made a Union Territory, they have come down on anarchy and undemocratic incidents due to the closure of their shops, now this is their fury when a light scam is exposed, many more acts will open up.
Jammu and Kashmir will probably be the only state in the country where government land has been extensively occupied under political patronage. Governments enacted the Jammu and Kashmir State Land Act 2001 to give people ownership of these lands instead of removing illegal possession. Under this, there was a conspiracy to legally give ownership to illegal occupations on government lands. While bringing this scheme in 2001, the government of the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah said that the funds raised by the legalization of the land will be used for power projects in the state, hence this law was named Roshni which came into force from March 2002. There are 8 kanals in an acre and in this sense it was planned to transfer more than 2.5 lakh acres of illegally occupied land. The extreme culmination of corruption and blindness was that the government handed over this government land to the occupiers at just 20 per cent of the market value.
It was not the Abdullah government who rubbed this big land scam, but the Mufti government which came to power in 2005 and then the Ghulam Nabi Azad government filled their pockets very fiercely. Taking advantage of the Roshni Act, these people took possession of land in their own names or in the name of relatives. The depth of this scam is evident from the fact that in the name of Khidmat Trust, in the middle of the city of Srinagar, the Congress owned the precious land, and even the grand headquarters of the National Conference was built on the same land, which is from this land scam. Nearly free prices were captured. When Satyapal Malik was made the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, the State Administrative Council headed by him repealed the Roshni Act. It is also being said that the vacant houses and shops of Kashmiri Pandits who escaped from Jammu and Kashmir under the guise of this act were also razed. People of all political parties of Jammu and Kashmir have been involved in this scam, now freedom from them will be able to bring back the real fruits of Kashmir.