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New Delhi:  The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) against RB educational trust run by former Jammu and Kashmir minister Chaudhary Lal Singh relating to illegal encroachment and occupation of forest land in Kathua district.

CBI source in Delhi told IANS, “The agency initiated a PE against RB Educational Trust and unknown public servants relating to illegal encroachment and occupation of land in Kathua.”

Chaudhary Lal SIngh had quit BJP following a row over rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua in 2018. The source said that the allegations in the complaint mentioned that the RB Educational Trust continues to be in possession of huge tracts of land in gross violation of cealing prescribed under J&K Agrarian Reforms Act 1976.

The source said that it was also alleged that an affidavit was filed before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on June 6, 2015 in which false information was submitted by public servants serving in Kathua.

The official said a writ petition was filed in Jammu so as to favour the RB Educational Trust, a family trust of Chaudhary Lal Singh, who is also a former Member of Parliament.

The source said that in lieu of illegal gratification for consideration, Revenue and Forest department officials of Kathua have allowed sale/purchase of the government/public/forest land by the persons after recording false certificates that such land falls under exempted category as per J&K Agrarian Reforms Act.

The source said that such encroachment is still continuing and vast tracts of state land is in illegal possession of encroachers due to connivance of officials of revenue department in Kathua.

During the PE, the agency tries to find if prima facie material exists to move ahead with a formal registration of a case also known as a Regular Case or FIR to start investigation. During the preliminary enquiry no searches can be conducted or no one can be summoned for recording statements without consent. (IANS)

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service

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