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Who is running the government in J&K?
Despite court, Divisional Commissioner (DC's) orders, Kishtwar administration fails to restore grabbed land to its owner. While the government pleads helplessness before its own delinquent subordinate officers; the innocent old man continues to suffer.

Jammu, February 12:The state of Jammu and Kashmir is a strange place where an elected government and top bureaucrats are supposed to run the government, but the reality speaks something else, as top most officers' orders are flouted with impunity and court judgments ignored by the Kishtwar administration, to help a former Tehsildar turned lawyer, who 35 years ago had illegally grabbed the legally owned land of one Ram Rattan Sharma (over 65 years old) S/o Late Vidya Lal Sharma R/o Matta, Kishtwar, and is refusing to return it to him despite clear orders from court of law, DC Kishtwar, and Divisional Commissioner Jammu.

The height of the lawlessness in the state is that even after directions from courts, and numerous reminders and contempt threats by the Divisional Commissioner Jammu, the district administration has failed to implement the orders of the superiors to restore the land to its owner which was grabbed by the then Tehsildar in 1984, in clear misuse of his official position.

The helplessness of the top officers who are supposed to protect the law of the land can be gauged from the fact that not only the courts but even the Divisional commissioner Jammu in his order has accepted that the land grabber was helped by the local administration but still has not come to the rescue of the innocent senior citizen to restore his land leaving him to fend for himself, face threats and spend lakhs of hard earned money till date.

Ram Rattan has now approached the media for help but despite widely circulated news story by a leading news agency of India, the state government and district administration of Kishtwar has turned a deaf ear, leading people to suspect that there was not only a communal angle to it but some politicians might also be hand in glove with the land grabber who is enjoying the patronization by the administration, while the legal owner is running from pillar to post.

Threatening to take some extreme step if the government fails to help him get back his legally owned land, Ram Rattan has said that he has no option now when even the government has bowed before this land grabber.

The following quote from the judgment order of the then Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sudhanshu Pandey, in the case Vidhya Lal Vs Mohd Amin Shiekh is self explanatory how the government even after admitting the illegal activity has failed to help the ordinary citizen due to pressure from the land grabber, former Tehsildar in Kishtwar area.

Earlier divisional commissioner has ordered as under:-

"In the light of the observations made herein above I have no doubt in my mind that role of the officials/officers in the present case was unbecoming of the public officials. They appear to be fully involved in this land grabbing scam. In order to bring the discipline in the department it is necessary that unscrupulous officials are identified and dealt in accordance with law. Accordingly  the Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar is directed to enquire into the matter identify the erring officer/officials and take appropriate action in accordance with rules & law on the subject with intimation to this Court with in a period of three months positively.

For the reasons stated above I am satisfied that the order impugned passed by the Additional Deputy Commissioner Doda is totally illegal and contrary to the provisions of law, the same is therefore set-aside..Asst Commissioner (Revenue) Kishtwar is hereby directed to restore the possession of the appellants in respect of the land comprising Kasra No. 1523 of village Kishtwar and 2179 {Chak Amada Moza Kishtwar} Matta respectively which was illegally attached and kept at the superdnama of the Lumberdar of village Kishtwar vide order dated 16-05-1985 within a period of one month from the date the order is received by him.

The above quoted judgment is just the tip of the ice berg as apart from it the Tehsildar Kishtwar, ADC Kishtwar, DC Kishtwar, Sessions Judge Kishtwar and even the High Court has given verdicts in favour of Ram Rattan Sharma, but to no avail as the administration has failed to rein in its own delinquent, corrupt and arrogant officers, who till date have refused or ignored to implement such clear orders.

It is a case that needs not only immediate implementation by force but also a thorough investigation so that all the culprits from 1984 within and outside the administration are brought to book, if at all the present government wants to assure the law abiding citizens that there was someone governing this state, who will restore the law of the land in practical shape to restore the lost confidence of the citizens.

The present leadership of the society also wants to warn the government that such delinquency and patronage to corrupt and land grabbers would not be tolerated anymore and if the victim does not get justice, they would resort to big agitation to expose the helplessness of the government before its own subordinate officers.

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