SIT probe ordered into illegal lease, selling of temple properties in Kashmir

Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has ordered an SIT probe into the illegal lease of temple properties in Kashmir and the nexus in the said properties for illegal use

SIT probe ordered into illegal lease, selling of temple properties in Kashmir
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IANS

On the basis of evidence provided by a JK Peace Forum, Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has ordered an SIT probe into the illegal lease of temple properties in Kashmir and the nexus in the said properties for illegal use.

The Kashmir-based NGO has alleged that in the last 33 years, no successive governments have taken any initiative to protect the temple properties of minorities of Kashmir. Despite repeated court orders, temple properties have been illegally given on lease or sold.

Satish Mahaldar, Chairman, JK Peace Forum said, "The Jammu and Kashmir administration/ revenue department has failed to protect the temple properties and has been unable to vacate the temple properties /premises, which have been leased out by the respective managements illegally for personnel favours. We are thankful to the Honorable Governor for initiating the SIT probe.

"We would like to draw your attention to the bitter truth that the earlier J&K governments have failed to protect Hindu minority properties in Kashmir," Mahaldar said.

Despite repeated court orders and The Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act, 1997, the temple properties have been illegally given on lease. The Jammu and Kashmir administration/ revenue department has failed to protect the temple properties and has been unable to vacate the temple properties /premises, Mahaldar said.

In the absence of Kashmiri Pandit community in the valley, a few select people in connivance with the J&K government officials operated defunct temple Trusts in between 1989 till 2022 and sold/leased temple properties.


"We feel suspicious that the J&K government is protecting its employees who are involved in selling temple properties," Mahaldar said.

The government officials should also be identified who in connivance with a select group of people operated defunct temple trusts in between 1989 - 2022 and sold /leased temple properties in Kashmir illegally. The defunct temple trusts/ societies had failed to comply with statutory compliance laid down by the J&K state government.

The defunct temples trust have not submitted any audited balance sheets, minutes of meetings nor have conducted any elections in the presence of the election officers deputed by registrar of societies from time to time, Mahaldar said.

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