Former BJP Minister’s Grabbed land seized by J&K Admin in Kishtwar

Bali Bhagat is bjp leader

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has seized eight kanal and six marla (equivalent to around 44,000 square feet) of land in Kishtwar from the possession of senior BJP leader and former J&K minister Bali Bhagat and his brothers.

The action was taken on the basis of an order dated January 15, after the brothers allegedly failed to vacate the land despite repeated notices issued by the Revenue Department, officials said. A three-storey building on the land, housing a nursing college, has been sealed under the order by the local tehsildar

According to officials, the land was transferred to the brothers under the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to Occupants) Act – commonly known as the Roshni Act – which was promulgated by the Farooq Abdullah government of the erstwhile state in 2001. The Act was for the transfer of ownership of illegally occupied state land to the occupants subject to the payment of its market value as determined by the government. The money raised was to be used for commissioning hydel power projects in J&K.

However, in 2014, the Comptroller and Auditor General pointed to various irregularities in the implementation of the Act, resulting in a loss of Rs 25,000 crore to the state exchequer. The Roshni Act was declared void ab initio by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2020, and all allotments made under the Act were declared null and void.

The January 15 order for the seizure of the land in Kishtwar named Bali Bhagat and brothers Daleep Kuma, Yashwant Singh, Surjeet Kumar, Anoop Kumar and Yog Raj – all residents of Lachkhazana in Kishtwar district – as occupants of the land.

Bali Bhagat said the land had been with his family for the past 60-70 years, and that he did not know how and when the Revenue Department made the allotment of this land to them under the Roshni Act. Bhagat said his mother had donated the land to the Mata Machail Educational Trust, which had been running a para-medical institute at the spot for the past five-six years.

Last year, the J&K government retrieved more than 15 lakh kanal of state and ghacharai (grazing) land from illegal occupants, including politicians across party lines.

Bali Bhagat, a prominent figure in Indian politics hailing from Jammu & Kashmir, has left an indelible mark on the political landscape. With a rich history of service, he has represented the people of Raipur-Domana constituency with distinction as a former member of the legislative assembly. A stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bhagat’s political journey began in 1996 when he secured victory from the Ramban assembly constituency, then part of Doda district.

During his tenure, Bhagat held significant ministerial portfolios, exemplifying his commitment to public welfare. Notably, he served as Minister for Forest, Social Welfare, Ecology & Environment in the BJP-PDP Coalition government, contributing to governance for a commendable span of nine months. Additionally, his stewardship extended to the crucial role of Health Minister in the same coalition government from April 2016 to April 2018, wherein he spearheaded initiatives to enhance healthcare infrastructure and accessibility.

Among his notable contributions, Bhagat laid the foundation stone of the Bone & Joint Hospital in Jammu Division, addressing critical healthcare needs in the region. Furthermore, his efforts led to the revival of the Government Ayurvedic College in Jammu Division after a hiatus of four decades, underscoring his dedication to revitalizing traditional medical practices and expanding educational opportunities.Bali Bhagat’s legacy is etched in his unwavering commitment to public service and his instrumental role in shaping the socio-political landscape of Jammu & Kashmir.

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