Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 24:
While the involvement of ruling BJD leaders and bureaucrats in Ghangapatana land grabbing case has raised a furore, forcing the Odisha government to conduct an inquiry, the matter has taken a new turn after reports that the family of the state BJP president KV Singdeo’s has also acquired land in the same area.
According to reports, Nivriti Export Private Limited (NEPL), controlled by KV Singhdeo’s daughter Nivritti Kumari Singhdeo, owns seven acres of land at Ghangapatana, a locality where the BJD MP Kalpataru Das’ family has ‘bought’a large patch of land and an unauthorised road has been constructed on forest land.
Besides Nivritti, KV’s wife and former MP Sangeeta Singhdeo is also a director in the NEPL.
Sources said the company bought one acre from one Dehury Kanthu in 2003, one acre each from Bharat Dehury, Laxman Dehury, Rohit Dehury, Prafulla Dehury and Magu Dehury in 2007 and another acre from Yudhistir Dehury in 2008.
In the land records, the category of land bought by NEPL has been mentioned as ‘baje fasal’ or land meant for agriculture. The records also mention the address of Nivriti Export as C1-19, Pandara Park, New Delhi.
When asked about the Ghangapatana land, KV Singhdeo, while conceding that his daughter’s company owns land in the area, rubbished allegations that it was illegally acquired. He demanded a CBI inquiry to find out if he or his family has resorted to any fraudulent means to acquire it.
“Unlike others, i have not purchased any SC/ST land. The company(NEPL) purchased land in the area from some individuals. It is an agricultural plot and there is no violation of any norm. My daughter has also not applied for any change of the category of land use. The type of land is still the same as it was when it was bought and there has been no boundary wall construction,” said Singhdeo.
Targeting the ruling party, he said the attempt is being made to divert the attention from the core issue.
“Attempts are being made to divert the attention from the main issues. Let’s focus on who built the controversial road on forest land and who grabbed the SC/ST land by violating the rules. That needs to be investigated. If there is any impropriety on the part of my family, then the government is free to hand over the case to the CBI. Everything will come to fore after the inquiry,” said KV.
However, the ruling BJD said there is no need to hand over the case to the CBI or any other agency.
“There is no need to hand over the Ghangapatna case to the CBI. The entire land scam is being inquired by the Task Force formed by the state government. In Ghangapatna case, the Forest and Revenue departments are conducting a joint probe. Let’s wait for their report. If it is not satisfactory, then the government may consider ordering a high level inquiry,” said senior BJD leader and former minister Pratap Dev.