A day after National Conference members raised the issue of ‘multi-crore Marhama land scam’ in Legislative Council, amid allegations and counter allegations the legislators of Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference raised the same issue in Legislative Assembly after which Speaker Mubarak Gul directed Inspector General of Police Crime Branch to conduct a time bound inquiry into these allegations.Pertinently, the Legislative Council on Thursday had witnessed pandemonium as a National Conference (NC) legislator Dr Bashir Veeri alleged that PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and Deputy Speaker Legislative Assembly Muhammad Sartaj Madni were party to the multi-crore land scam in Marhama area of Sangam in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district. The Council chairman had sought a report from the Chief Secretary on the issue.
As the proceeding of the Legislative Assembly started on Friday, Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni quoting a particular media report sought justice from the Speaker saying that his name has been linked to Marhama land scam which is totally baseless and unfounded. “I am ready to resign and i will be a signatory and my role in the land grabbing would be established,” Madni told Speaker.
National Conference MLA from Sonawari Constituency alleged that it is PDP leader Yasir Reshi who is the brain child of this scam and a thorough probe should be conducted so that guilty are punished. He alleged that the documents related to land scam contains the signatures of Yasir Reshi, a charge refuted by Sartaj Madni.Another NC legislator Sakina Itoo demanded that a tape in which PDP leaders are telling their workers from the village that they should keep mum on the issue as it is required for party purposes should be brought into the House as every legislator would hear it. She demanded that a thorough time bound inquiry should be ordered into the issue.Countering NC legislators, PDP leader of the House Abdul Rehman Veeri said that NC legislators should first of all inform the House who gave permission in this regard. “An enquiry should be ordered into the issue and action should be taken against those who converted this wet-land into commercial land and awarded permission to the land grabbers,” he said.
The Minister of State for Revenue, Ajaz Ahmed Khan said that no permission has been granted by the revenue department for conversion from agriculture to non agriculture purposes.Muhammad Akbar Lone according to CNS suggested to Speaker to hand over the case to Crime Branch and order a time bound enquiry. Sartaj Madni alleged that those are complaining about the issue had demanded Rs 50 lakh as bribe. Amid ruckus, Speaker Mubarak Gul directed IG Crime to present a report before the House before the Question Hour on Saturday. He directed Crime Branch to submit its reports in fifteen days. Complete chaos was witnessed in the House during the whole process, even Law Minister Mir Saifullah appealed the legislators to maintain calm as nothing was audible.
In the midst of all this, Panthers Party members, led by Harsh Dev Singh, wanted the word ‘secular’ to be added to the preamble of the state constitution. They assisted by BJP members raised hue and cry in the House and resorted to sloganeering in standing position on their benches. Independent MLA Er Rashid alleged that the legislators from the both the parties have sucked the blood of the common people and they all are sailing in the same boat. Rashid also took on NPP members saying that India in no way is a secular country as it is led by Narendara Modi who is known for his communal politics. Speaker Mubarak Gul adjourned the House for ten minutes after the members continued to accuse and taunt one-another.It is worth to mention here that Marhama Wetland commonly known as Nambal lies between Marhama and Chachkot villages of Bijbehara tehsil in South Kashmir’s Islamabad district. The area is marshy and surrounded by paddy fields. It is very difficult to ascertain its limits in absence of proper demarcation on ground thus its market value can’t be ascertained by the Forest Department. This wetland is not protected under Wetland Act and as such the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Department has no administrative control over the said area. (CNS)