Odisha Crime Branch arrests 7 in land scam

The Crime Branch of Odisha Police on Friday arrested seven persons including four government officials in connection with the land scam at Ghangapatna village.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 19, 2014, 16:51 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The Crime Branch of Odisha Police on Friday arrested seven persons including four government officials in connection with the land scam at Ghangapatna village.

"The CB has been investigating into the land fraud case based on an FIR filed by the Revenue department. We have arrested seven persons including four officials of the Revenue department for their involvement in fraudulent activities," additional director general of police (ADG) BK Sharma told reporters here.

Stating that the accused persons were arrested under different sections of the IPC including cheating (420), Sharma said all seven persons were found having link with the land fraud. They included two former additional tehsildar rank officers, one revenue inspector, and one record keeper.

"The three others were members from public who had specific roles in registration of land in name of certain persons," the ADG said.

Based on the report of the Khurda district collector and local tehsildar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last month directed the crime branch to probe the land fraud involving about 100 acre of land at Ghangapatna village. The CB was told to submit its report within two months.

Meanwhile, Revenue Minister Bijayshree Routray said the government has last week retrieved 76 acre of land in the illegal possession of different persons.

This 76 acre of land included 7 acre in the name of Nivriti Export Private Limited, in which BJP state president K V Singhdeo's ex-MP wife Sangeeta and daughter Nivriti were directors, the minister said adding that another 5 acre of land belonged to Gokarneswar Charitable Trust where BJD MP Kalpataru Das's MLA son Pranab Balabantray was a trustee.

Both Singhdeo and Das have expressed surprise over the minister's statement saying that they were not aware of any notice before the government recorded the land in name of the government.