The names of one of the top businessmen of the country, Jahangir Siddiqui, and some of his family members have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), a top revenue official of the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) told The News on Wednesday.
The anti-corruption department of the Sindh government and the revenue department of the CDGK have had thousands of acres of land evacuated from the possession of some big shots, including Jahangir Siddiqui, during a crackdown on land grabbers.
Additional Executive District Officer (AEDO) Revenue Mustafa Jamal Qazi informed this correspondent that the names of Siddiqui’s wife, Mehwish Siddiqui, and his son, Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, had also been placed on the ECL.
He alleged that Jahangir Siddiqui had recently illegally occupied a plot of 1,000 square yards in Clifton in connivance with the owner of an estate agency, using forged documents. Qazi said the plot had been reclaimed by the authorities recently.
The revenue official alleged that some officials of the KDA had also been involved in this process. He said the authorities had also recently reclaimed more than 30 acres of land which had allegedly been grabbed by Zahid Siddiqui, a brother of Jahangir Siddiqui, during action against land grabbing in Keamari Town.
Qazi said the reclaimed land was on the French Beach. He alleged that forged documents had been used for taking possession of the land.
He said two farm houses had been constructed on this piece of land, which were demolished. He added that the land had been occupied in the name of a fictitious farmer from Nawabshah.
The CDGK’s revenue official said an FIR had been registered against Jahangir Siddiqui and his associates and arrest warrants issued. On being inquired, he said Siddiqui’s status in the case was that of an absconder.
Qazi said FIRs were also registered with the Anti-Corruption Establishment against KDA officials who had been involved in the scam.
He identified the KDA officials involved in the scam as Bashir Jokhio, a director, Arshad, an assistant director, and Rashid, currently deputed at the Malir Development Authority (MDA).
Qazi said around 22,000 acres of land had been reclaimed so far, which would be handed over to the government departments on demand.
He said it had become a practice that land was awarded to some government departments for some purpose but the land mafia grabbed it for its vested interests.
The revenue official said the reclaimed land would be handed over to the government organisations for developing an education city project, a textile city and cottage industries and for some other projects.
He said the authorities concerned now had decided to crack down on big fish who were involved in land grabbing.
“Smaller group would eventually evacuate the government land when an operation against top businessmen and other top personalities who are involved in land grabbing is taken,” he said.
Qazi said the revenue department had formed its own police station for taking action in such issues.
He said a police station had been set up in Bin Qasim Town comprising around 60 police personnel.
He noted that the services of those personnel had been taken for the revenue police station on deputation from the regular police.
He said the police station was set up some two months back and was equipped with required machinery to demolish properties constructed on occupied land of the government.
He said the services of some more personnel would be hired for the revenue police and they would be equipped with required vehicles.
Qazi said his department had the full cooperation of the federal and the provincial governments to take action in this regard.
The authorities concerned also took action against another influential person, Ali Hassan Brohi, and evacuated around 5,000 acres of land from his possession, he said, adding that Brohi had illegally occupied two villages namely Lal Bukhsh Brohi and Usman Brohi Goth where drugs business was flourishing openly.
He said Brohi was arrested and the authorities concerned had wanted his judicial remand for 14 days but a court ordered jail custody for him in the case.
Qazi stated that currently Brohi was hospitalised in a government hospital for the treatment of some unknown illness.
He said Imtiaz Khoso who is the son of DIG Sindh Police Nadir Khoso was also involved in the land grabbing scam. Sometime back Nadir Khoso retired from his service and his services were hired again on a contract basis.
He said the authorities concerned got 25 acres of land worth about Rs25 billion evacuated from Imtiaz Khoso’s illegal possession in the vicinity of the airport.
The AEDO said action would be taken in the coming days against some more big fish involved in land grabbing.