Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar, Apr 21:
Making a complete volte-face of itself, the district administration in Odisha’s Keonjhar district today announced that tomorrow it would only demolish some temporary structures and not the house and office building of Champua independent MLA Sanatan Mahakud.
“There are two plots one is of five acres and the other is of 1.20 acres. There is a High Court stay order on the 1.20 acre plot on which lies his office, house and other buildings. Some temporary sheds used for goat and cattle rearing and some sheds used by labourers located on the five acre plot will be demolished to make the land encroachment free,” informed Sangram Keshari Swain, ADM Keonjhar to reporters here.
Similarly, there are court orders preventing the demolition of the temple constructed by Mahakud on the encroached land.
The Champua MLA has allegedly encroached about 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 occupy the land.
After Barbil 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.
However,Orissa High Court ruled 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 land but allowed Mahakud to retain the temple.