Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar, Apr 20:
Odisha government will begin the eviction process of government land encroached by Champua MLA Sanatan Mahakud in Unchabali village on April 22, according to Keonjhar district administration.
After a PIL was filed in Orissa High Court citing violation of Supreme Court order in 2015, the district administration has woken up and is all set to launch an eviction drive to free the government land encroached by the independent MLA of Champua.
“Orissa High Court had asked the district administration for a time limit for the eviction to be completed. Acting on the directive of the court, the administration had filed an affidavit on April 8 informing the court that the eviction would be completed within a month. After a joint meeting of the district administration and the police, it has been decided that the eviction would begin on April 22”, said Keonjhar SP Kavita Jalan.
Complete security arrangements to maintain law and order during the demolition drive have been made. Twenty five platoons of police will be deployed during the encroachment, she added.
The Champua MLA has allegedly encroached on around five acres of land and built a number of offices fortified by high wall in Unchabali village around 25 kms from Barbil.
Notably, Mahakud had encroached the vast stretch of government land since 1980. As Revenue department had started an investigation into the matter, the Champua MLA formed Maa Jagat Janani Trust in 2011 and built a temple of Goddess Jagat Janani in a bid to take legal possession of the land.
After Badbil tehsildar initiated a move to evict the encroached land, Mahakud fought a long legal battle claiming that the land was being used for religious purpose. Orissa High Court in it ruling said that this was a clear case of encroachment of government land.
Mahakud later moved the Supreme Court. The apex court upholding the high court’s verdict had asked him to vacate the encroached but allowed Mahakud to retain the temple.