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Dharmasala land scam: Odisha HC issues notice to Centre, state govt

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 16:

The Odisha High Court today issued notices to the Central and the state governments in connection with the massive land scam involving the Gokarneswar Trust in Dharmasala block in Jajpur district.

High CourtThe court, after hearing a PIL filed by Ishwar Pradhan and three others in the matter, issued notices to the additional director general (ADG), Forest, state Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), state Revenue and Forest secretaries and chairperson of Gokarneswar Trust, Pratima Das, wife of senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das.

Alleging that the Gokarneswar Trust has taken possession of over a hundred acres of government and forest land in Dharmasala block of Jajpur district with the knowledge of the state government, the petitioner had sought early intervention of the court.

The court, after hearing the petition, asked the aforesaid persons to file a counter within two weeks.

It may be mentioned that the massive encroachment of government land had come to the fore during the recent visit of additional chief secretary, Revenue, Taradutt to Jajpur district.

During his inspection, it was revealed that some close associates of former Panchayati Raj Minister and present Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das had encroached vast patches of government land in Dharmasala block.