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Trio in net for fraud

Paradip, Jan. 5: The vigilance wing of Odisha police arrested two revenue officials for fraud in payment of compensation for land acquisition for a steel plant project near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

Rabindra Kumar Lenka, a revenue inspector and Susant Kumar Swain an ‘amin’ (revenue staff for land demarcation and measurement) were booked by vigilance sleuths yesterday on charge of paying up compensation cheque to ‘ineligible’ persons.

The fraud perpetrated by the arrested duo pertained to land acquisition for the Essar steel project near Paradip.

The arrested revenue personnel had committed criminal conspiracy and willful fraud, said vigilance officials.

Deputy superintendent of police (vigilance wing) Biswanath Mishra said: “The fraud committed was deliberate and willful. The procedural norms for compensation award under Section 11 under Land Acquisition Act was not followed in letter and spirit.”

The inquiry is still in progress as it is being suspected that similar frauds might have been committed during the course of land acquisition payment cases, he added.

The accused officials paid Rs 17.72 lakh to a man whose claims were not genuine and legitimate, said the vigilance officials.

The sum was disbursed to a person on June 21, last year, as compensation towards acquisition of 89 decimal of land at Bijoychandrapur near Paradip. The fake beneficiary hailed from Kesharpur area of Cuttack city.

The fraud came to light after the original landowner, an inhabitant of Kamakhyanagar under Dhenkanal district, claimed compensation.