Premises of former J&K minister raided by CBI in land-grab case

The founder of a Dogra outfit and ex-BJP MLA is accused of corruption by an educational trust run by him in Jammu region

Choudhary Lal Singh is the founder of Dogra Swabhimaan Sanghthan. File photo: Facebook

A former J&K minister, who quit the BJP in 2018 and is an accused in a land-grab case, came under the CBI scanner as the agency sleuths on Tuesday (September 15) raided his residential premises in Rajbagh and Kathua in Jammu.

Choudhary Lal Singh is also the founder of Dogra Swabhimaan Sanghthan (DSS).

“Two CBI teams launched searches on the premises of Choudhary Lal Singh in ward number 2 of Kathua town and in Rajbagh around 7 am,” said an official.

The Central probe agency had on June 25 registered a preliminary inquiry to probe the allegations of land grabbing and corruption by an educational trust run by Singh.

The inquiry was registered against RB Educational Trust of Kathua and unknown government employees in an effort to investigate the charges of illegal gratification and extraneous consideration by the revenue and forest officials of Kathua district in allowing the sale and purchase of forest land.

The inquiry alleged that false certificates of the land, which came under exempted category of Jammu & Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976 were used by the trust.

It also alleged that erroneous information was submitted in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court on June 9, 2015 as public interest litigation (PIL) in a bid to favour the trust, the official said.

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Singh and the then Industries Minister Chander Prakash Ganga in the erstwhile BJP People’s Democratic Party coalition government had to resign in 2018 after a controversy over their participation in a Hindu Ekta Manch rally organized in support of those arrested in the rape and murder of a girl in Kathua.

A special police officer Deepak Khajuria was arrested by the state crime branch on February 10 after “clinching evidence” was found against him in a gruesome crime that shook Jammu and Kashmir in January 2018.

The victim, who belonged to a Gujjar family, was reported missing from outside her home in Kasana village on January 10 when she had taken the family’s horses to a nearby pond.

A week later, her body was spotted by locals in a nearby forest. Subsequent investigations led to the arrest of Khajuria.

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