Srinagar: The Custodian Department has allotted a ‘hut’ build over a prized evacuee property in posh Sanat Nagar here to the son of senior National Conference leader and J&K Legislative Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul.
This has been revealed by the Custodian Department in response to an RTI filed by Mohammad Afzal Parray, former president of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce.
Besides the Sanat Nagar property, Parray had also sought details about 18 kanals of evacuee land at Indra Nagar. Two kanals of the land was earlier allotted to Mubarak Gul’s son by the Custodian Department. However, the allotment was later cancelled. Gul’s son has obtained stay order from the court over the land (bearing survey number 1145/823).
“One hutment stands allotted in favour of Mr Younis Gul at Majeed Bagh, Srinagar, which is presently in the name of his mother,” the PIO informs in the RTI reply (vide reference number CEPS/LS/3258 dated 14.3.2014).
In another query by the applicant asking the Custodian Department why steps have not been taken to utilize the 16 kanals of land for parking or community hall and why serious efforts were not being made to vacate the status quo in effect from 31. 05. 2012, the Custodian Department says that the senior departmental counsel has already been asked to defend the case on behalf of the department for the early disposal.
“It has been learnt that the honourable Revenue Minister has issued instructions for the construction of marriage hall (community hall) on the said evacuee land and the executive engineer Evacuee Property Department J&K has processed the case by way of preparation of plans. Further details can be had from the executive engineer EP J&K in this regard,” the Custodian Department has said.
However, the RTI applicant says that there was much more than meets the eye. The department, he said, was apparently under pressure from the senior NC leader to shelve the case.
“If the minister has told them to construct a marriage hall, then why they are not acting on his instructions? Why haven’t they been successful in vacating stay order in these years? There is something fishy. There is much more than meets the eye,” Parray told Kashmir Reader.
He also cast doubts over the claims of the Custodian Department over the allotment of hutment to Younis Gul. “I don’t think it is hutment,” he said.
The Indira Nagar land, he said, has served as a playground for the locals for decades. He said the locals even took to streets to free the land from the Army occupation.
“Army occupied the land for 12 years. However, when they started to construct barracks over it, we came out and resisted their move. This is the only playground in our locality that has a population of 45, 000,” he added.