State

Land occupied by Odisha ex-chief secy taken back

Cuttack, November 21: Four days after taking back 70 acres of government land from alleged illegal possession of a former State Chief Secretary and his brothers in Jajpur district, Odisha land record and settlement commissioner court here today ordered restoration of another 88 acres of government land from them.

Disposing of a batch of revision petitions filed by Jajpur Collector and Danagadi Tehsildar, the Commissioner court of A K Tarenia ordered restoration of the government land and record them as 'unoccupied forest' land under Salijanga village area.

The executive court had on Monday ordered restoration of 70 acres of land that was under "illegal" possession of retired Chief Secretary Rabinarayan Das and his brothers.

All the revision petitions were filed before the Member, Board of Revenue last year and Member Ashok Kumar Tripathy had ordered the court of land records and settlement commissioner to decide the cases on priority basis.

The Commissioner Court also suggested the state government initiate a crime branch police probe into the matter as to how these cases were not decided under Odisha Prevention of Land Encroachment Act and private persons were allowed to occupy valuable government land for so long.

The contentious patch of 158 acres of government land was "fraudulently" recorded in the names of Bidubhusan Das, Chandi Charan Das and Rabinarayan Das, who are sons of late Durga Charan Das by the Settlement personnel during Hal Settlement operation in 1983 on the basis of hand-written Record-of-Rights (RoR).

The revision petitions alleged that the retired IAS officer and his brothers sold at least 70 acres of the suit property at different points of time to different persons through registered sale deeds.

The retired top bureaucrat was not immediately available for comment.

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