New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday alleged that over 200 acres of defense land around Srinagar air force base in Kashmir worth INR 10 billion has been grabbed by a real-estate mafia in connivance with politicians and defense officials.
The party urged Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurien Antony to have the defense land scam probed, calling it “both a security concern and a financial irregularity”.
BJP national secretary and former MP Kirit Somaiya told reporters here that he and the party’s Jammu and Kashmir president Shamsher Singh Manhas headed a committee of party workers, who investigated the scam, and found that defense land has been grabbed by a mafia, who got all help from the state’s revenue department and defense estate officials.
“The air force land in Srinagar is the most security-sensitive area and it is under siege from the land mafia. Around 200 acres of defense land has been grabbed by the mafia in connivance with the officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government and defense ministry,” Somaiya said here.
Somaiya and Shamsher Singh Manhas also met Antony to submit several documents relating to what they claimed to be the “largest defense land scam”, and demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carry out an investigation.
The BJP leader said the party’s investigation team had identified 69 pieces of land measuring around 200 acres around the Srinagar air base that were transferred to private parties in the last couple of years by using fake or forged no-objection certificates.
He also claimed that a particular director-level officer of Defence Estates department seemed to have a direct role in all the defense land scams in the recent years, including the Adarsh Housing Society scam in Mumbai last year.
The BJP, Somaiya said, demanded from Antony the taking over of the 69 pieces of land transferred illegally to two real estate agents, a full-fledged audit of defense land in Jammu and Kashmir, and updating records and data on the defense land in the state.
The party’s memorandum to Antony also contained a long list of documents, including fake no-objection certificates and the list of the land pieces allegedly grabbed by the land mafia.