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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CBI starts land probe

Cuttack, March 6: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a probe into the illegal land transactions that had facilitated encroachment on government land along a four-km stretch on which construction of a road was originally planned.

“CBI officers from Calcutta, led by superintendent of police N.K. Singh and deputy superintendent of police S. Pradhan, started the probe with a spot visit yesterday after completing all formalities,” nodal officer for the investigation and local sub-collector Jyoti Prakash Das told The Telegraph today.

The road was planned to connect Sati Chaura via Petanala with Sector 10 of Markatnagar.

“Construction of the road has not been possible because of illegal occupation of government land by more than a hundred encroachers in several patches along the proposed stretch of the road,” Das said.

The district administration had issued an eviction notice in an attempt to clear the proposed project area of encroachments. Challenging the notice, the alleged encroachers had moved the high court. Their plea was referred to a high court bench adjudicating on PILs related to civic problems in this city.

On January 18, the division bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice M.M. Das had asked the CBI’s special cell in Calcutta to investigate into it after it found that several encroachers claimed possession over government land on the basis of land pattas (record of rights) in their favour.

The court expects the CBI to investigate and submit a report on how the encroachers managed to get the land pattas of government land recorded in their names.

“As directed by the high court, relevant records have been provided along with the necessary infrastructure, including a room at the local circuit house, to the CBI officials to conduct their investigation,” the nodal officer said.

While ordering the CBI probe, the court also gave the investigating agency the liberty to extend its probe to alleged illegal land transactions in adjacent areas.

It was alleged that a revenue inspector and an amin in connivance with the land mafia were facilitating possession of government land against payment.