Wakf land scam: Three weeks on, no ar­rest and lit­tle ac­tion

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - PUNJAB - Prab­hjit Singh prab­hjit.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com n

Three weeks af­ter the FIR against a for­mer Akali coun­cil­lor who is now a Congress leader and four oth­ers for il­le­gal coloni­sa­tion of wakf board’s land in Bathinda, the po­lice have failed to make any ar­rest.

While Gid­der­baha’s for­mer coun­cil­lor Ra­jesh Ku­mar Gandhi alias Bittu told HT on Thurs­day that he had got an­tic­i­pa­tory bail last Fri­day from the dis­trict court, he added that two oth­ers too got bail.

The mat­ter re­lates to at least 18 acres of the Bathinda Wakf Board — cus­to­dian of prop­er­ties do­nated for Mus­lim com­mu­nity wel­fare — and the dis­trict court had or­dered va­ca­tion of the land on Fe­bru­ary 2. Names of the en­croach­ers in the court or­der that said: “The de­fen­dants are il­le­gally and forcibly rais­ing con­struc­tion over the suit land with­out any author­ity and per­mis­sion of the plain­tiff (wakf board).”

Gandhi, whose wife is now a Congress coun­cil­lor in Gid­der­baha, is said to have pa­tron­age of fi­nance min­is­ter Man­preet Badal ever since the lat­ter was part of the SAD-BJP regime ear­lier. He was coun­cil­lor af­fil­i­ated to the SAD till 2011, and later joined Man­preet-led Peo­ple’s Party of Pun­jab (PPP); only to move along with him to the Congress be­fore the assem­bly polls.

Asked about the case, po­lice sta­tion house of­fi­cer (SHO) Kul­winder Singh replied, “It is learnt that Ra­jesh Ku­mar (Gandhi) got bail in the case. We will ar­rest the ac­cused soon.”

Be­sides Gandhi, the other ac­cused are Vi­jay Ku­mar, Dev Raj and San­jeev Ku­mar, all hail­ing from Gid­der­baha, and Bathinda’s Ka­maljit Kaur.

Though the FIR was reg­is­tered only un­der sec­tion 52 (A) of the Wakf Act, deputy com­mis­sioner Di­parva Lakra told HT that sec­tions such as 420 (cheat­ing) of the In­dian Pe­nal Code were also re­quired to be added. Wakf board ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (EO) Mo­ham­mad Ashraf said he had been writ­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion and the po­lice about the en­croach­ment in the past, but to no avail.

The DC had even stated that all fam­i­lies cheated by the en­croach­ers would get back the money they paid to set­tle in the il­le­gal colony, but noth­ing has moved in that di­rec­tion too.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.