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Civil society groups ask Odisha govt to order CBI probe into land allotment scam within a month

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 13:

The 24 Civil Society Groups of Odisha who had staged 3-day mass dharna at lower PMG, here from September 10 to 12 demanding CBI inquiry into corruption, irregularities and illegalities exposed by CAG in respect of allotment of land and plot by the department of General Administration, IDCO, CDA and BDA have served an ultimatum to the state government to order a CBI inquiry into the matter within a month.

In a press release issued on behalf of the 24 civil society groups RTI activist Pradip Pradhan today said, “The performance audit of CAG made from 2000-2012 has brought to limelight the illegal procedure followed in respect of allotment of land, keeping deliberately premium amount low in order to sell the land to so-called powerful people at throwaway price, illegally regularising the encroached land in the name of the encroachers, granting huge concession to the private institutions at the cost of the state exchequer etc.”

“After this expose, the Civil Society Groups had organised mass demonstration at lower PMG on 25.8.14 demanding CBI inquiry. After getting no response, the groups decided to continue the stir and organised mass dharana to awaken the people about the scam and generate public demand for CBI Inquiry into it. Hundreds of the people from various districts like Angul, Dhenkanal, Bolangir, Sambalpur, Khurda, Puri, Cuttack had participated in the dharana and expressed their solidarity with this movement, ” the release said.

The release further said, “During 3-day long Dharana, 3 FIRs were lodged by activists against Sri Tarun Kanti Mishra, Chief Information Commissioner, Sri Bijay Kumar Sharma, Addl. DG of Police, Crime Branch and Sri Jagadanand, former State Information Commissioner ( he has taken a plot in the name of his wife Smt. Manjushree Patnaik ) at the Badagada police station and the Capital police station respectively.”

The protesters have also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister with one-month’s ultimatum to order a CBI inquiry into land scam in Odisha.

Prominent figures, who addressed the meeting and expressed solidarity with this movement include Rabi Das, senior journalist, Prafulla Samantara, environmentalist, Narendra Swain, Kandhamal Chasi Mulia Sangh,Panchanan Kanungo, former Minister, Khirod Rout, senior advocate, Odisha High Court, Padma Ch. Nayak, Gandhian, Madhu Sudan Das, state convener, National Youth Project, Lalit Patnaik, Akshaya Kumar, Convener, Naba Nirman Samiti, Radhakant Sethy, CPI (ML) Liberation, Prasant Paikaray, Convener PPSS and Narayan Reddy, former CPI MLA.

The activists and organisers who coordinated the dharana included Sachikant Pradhan, Malaya Tripathy, Kahnu Ch. Behera, Pratap Sahu, Bijay Parida, Prof. Jantrana Parikhit, advocate Sudhir Mohanty, Uma Charan Mishra, former district judge, Seshadev Nanda, Ms Mamata Samantaray, Ashok Nanda, Madhusudan Mishra,Jayant Das (Chit Fund Affected Persons Forum), Dr. Lingaraj Biswal, Ashok Mallik, Dalit Leader, Ashok Dash, Hrushikesh Sarangi, and Pradip Pradhan.

The organisations, which played a vital role in organising this movement, are Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan, Odisha Nagarik Samaj, Odisha Durniti Sangharsh Manch, Odisha Yuba Manch, Odisha Janaadhikar Parishad, Jatiya Dalit Mahasangh, Odisha Chapter, Odisha Loka samukhya, Odisha Loka Adhikar Sangathan, Proutist Universal, State Progressive Women’s Forum, Chasi Ekta Manch, Chit Fund Affected persons Forum, Odisha Krushi O Krushak Parishad, Naba Nirman Samiti, Milita Odisha Nisha Nibaran Abhijan, Odisha Basti Sangrsh Samiti, Odisha International Centre, Open-hand Organisation, Dharmasala Surakhya Manch, Nilachal Krushak Mahasangh and Odisha Ghaoi Shramik Sangh, the release informed.