Top J&K cop says land grab allegations part of vilification campaign

Srinagar (IANS) Land grab allegations against top Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer Munir Khan that were levelled immediately after he was granted a one-year extension in service by the Department of Trainings and Personnel, are "part of vilification campaign" the officer said.

Presently posted as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order and Security, in the state, Khan on Monday rubbished the allegations. 

Scheduled earlier to retire on June 30, Khan told IANS that the piece of land in the Gupkar Road area here that was in question has been bought in the name of his wife in the high security area to ensure the safety of the family after he retires from service.

Khan, who has had an illustrious career in the state police doing various assignments, including anti-militancy duties in Kashmir, said: "Isn't it important that I and my family have a safe place to live after I retire? The piece of land has been bought in the name of my wife after we sold our ancestral property in Jammu to manage the cost of the land which was purchased after fulfilling all legal formalities." 

Documents shared by Khan with IANS, including High Court order, directions of District and Sessions Court Srinagar, findings of a multi-departmental committee to probe the legality of revenue records and other documents do not indicate any land grab committed by the officer and his family.

The allegations against Khan that surfaced in the media over the last week or so said the Gupkar Road land grabbed for constructing Khan's house belonged to the State Custodian Department, which holds and maintains the properties of locals who migrated to Pakistan after the accession of the state to India in 1947.

A petition filed in the High Court was disposed off with directions to the Badami Bagh Cantonment Board and other concerned agencies to verify the title of the land before Khan was allowed to start any constructions there.

The piece of land falls under the jurisdiction of the Badami Bagh Cantonment Board and not Srinagar Municipal Corporation as claimed in the allegations.

Papers available with Khan indicate that the probe committee's findings signed by the Revenue officials, including those of the Custodian Department and the Cantonment Board have found no illegality in the said purchase.

Khan has also obtained an order from the Additional District and Sessions judge Srinagar, which says: "The applicant (Khan's wife) is permitted to raise the construction and the non-applicants are restrained from causing any interference or any impediment in the right of the applicant in raising the construction in the suit land falling under survey number 85 and 86 Khewat number 1107 min and Khata number 396 situated at Mauza Sonawar, Srinagar. 

"The application is disposed off and shall form part of the main file."

In another twist to the story, sources said the complainant against Khan's family "does not exist". There is no person by the name of Shabir Ahmad Mir living anywhere in the vicinity of the said piece of land. 

Media reports had quoted Mir as the complainant against Khan's family maintaining that he lives adjacent to the place where Khan was building his house.

Sources close to the high profile police officer said the allegations are part of a vilification campaign to tarnish the image of the officer.

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