Srinagar plot scam: Huge chunks of land on sale for 4 years

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Srinagar, Jul 23: It might come as a shock to all the Indians around following the unclassified reports that India's most security-sensitive airfield, the Srinagar Air Force Station and International Airport has been on sale for four years.

NDTV's exclusive documents reveal that more than 100 acres of the 2,300-acre airfield has been sold to private players by land sharks who bribed their way through the Defence Estates Office and the government's Revenue Department.

A R Hanjura, a lawyer, bought 1.5 acres of this land in Naaru Village in 2008. He bought it from Mrs. Fazi, a previous landlord, and had the papers to show for it. Mr Hanjura says these were Revenue Department records that confirmed the land was still in Mrs Fazi's name, even though the area was being used by the Defence. Mr Hanjura was told that he could claim rent from the Defence as he is the owner of the land.

The sale was cleared by the Defence Estates Office in Srinagar, whose permission was mandatory, since the plot fell in an area under its use.

It was also verified by the Revenue Department that it belonged to Mrs Fazi and not the Defence Ministry. Mr Hanjura bought the plot at a pittance for Rs. 20,000 which he thought to be a bargain, till he was told it was a fraudulent sale of Defence land.

Media reports revealed that 60 buyers like Mr Hanjura risked purchasing village land, right inside the airfield since 2008, hoping for a rent from the Defence.

''I have been deceived. I have obtained a no-objection certificate from the Defence Estates Office. That way it was perfect for me to purchase this land," said A. R. Hanjura,

Media reports also revealed that the plots were neither acquired nor requisitioned nor hired by the Defence Ministry.

''The Revenue Department does not give any documents required unless they get no-objection, requisite clearance from the Defence Estates Office. Once they give no objection, that means all encumbrances are ruled out," said Rafi Ahmad Deputy Commissioner and Collector, Budgam District.

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