Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:
The Odisha Crime Branch police today arrested 13 persons in connection with the much-talked-about Ghangapatna land scam in Chandaka tehsil on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Briefing newsmen here, the Crime Branch ADG BK Sharma said the 13 arrested persons were the original lease holders, who had later sold the land to other parties.
He said that the state government, during 1969-1973, had provided 18 acres of land to 13 landless persons on lease for agricultural purpose.
“But as these leaseholders did not utilize the land, the government later cancelled their lease. Despite the cancellation of the lease, these 13 leaseholders had not returned the land to the government. Later, they sold the land to other parties”, Sharma informed.
The accused persons have been identified as Prafulla Dehury (55), Purna Chandra Dehury (60), Brundaban Dehury (66), Kalyani alias Kalia Naik (68), Nepal Dehury (65), Laxman Dehury (60), Baina Parida (60), Rohit Behera (55), Debaraj Naik (66), Ratnakar Parida (70), Judhistir Naik (71), Bilash Dehury (72) and Kasinath Naik (75)- all from Ghangapatna village under Chandaka police limits in Khordha district.
The Crime Branch has slapped charges under sections 467, 468, 471, 420, 120 (B) of IPC against these accused.
Prior to this, the Crime Branch had arrested eight persons in this connection on September 19 this year on the basis of the report by the Khordha collector and tehsildar.
Though the lease of 41 out of a total of 76 acres was cancelled by the state government, the sale and purchase of these cancelled lease lands was made illegally.
Acting on the report, the state government on August 28 had directed the Crime Branch to probe into the matter.
The Revenue department has claimed it had brought all 76 acres of illegally occupied land under its possession. However, there has been no official notofication along with the details of the land records so far.
The state government, in the meanwhile, has directed the Forest and Environment department to register cases against the persons and organizations who have constructed illegal structures on these lands.
Besides, the commissionerate police have also registered cases against the persons involved in the scam on the basis of report of the concerned tehsildar.