Sumita’s husband Rajender enters the house his family got back on Tuesday
||Sumita with the receipt
of Rs 5000 that she had paid to the Durgapur municipality for the house. Pictures by Arup Sarkar
Durgapur, March 5: The single-storey house of a domestic help in Durgapur that was sold off allegedly by two Trinamul workers when she was away with her family was returned to her today.
The keys to the Amravati house, allotted to Sumita Shaw under a central scheme in 2009, was handed over by councillor Dipankar Laha.
Metro had yesterday reported that Sumita’s house was sold off allegedly by Trinamul workers Dinesh Karmakar and Moloy Bauri when she had gone with her family to visit an ailing relative in Uttar Pradesh two months ago.
The Durgapur Trinamul today distanced itself from Karmakar and Bauri, who police said were absconding.
“Today, I helped a family get back their house. Our party does not encourage such dirty business. If anyone from Trinamul is found to be involved in the illegal deal, he would be punished. Dinesh Karmakar and Moloy Bauri are not our party members. The police will take stern action against them,” Laha said.
The police, who Sumita had accused of refusing to register her complaint if she named the two Trinamul workers, today said they were looking for the duo.
“We are searching for them. We hope to catch them soon,” said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy superintendent of police (east).
Sumita’s husband Rajender thanked the media. “I got back my house after a long ordeal. I am thankful to the media,” he said.
Rajender, a labourer, wife Sumita and their two children had been living at a relative’s place in Durgapur.
Sumita’s house is one of the 500 in Amravati that were allotted to homeless people under the Valmiki-Ambedkar Awas Yojana.
The Durgapur municipality had in 2008 and 2009 constructed 1,400 such houses in three places under the scheme.
Today, Munna Rajak, who had allegedly paid Rs 35,000 to the two Trinamul activists for the house, was disappointed at having “lost” his money.
“I had spent another Rs 5,000 to paint the house. I have requested Laha babu to help me get back the money. Now I will have to stay on rent,” the laundry owner said.
The CPM said it would urge the district administration to conduct a survey to find out if more such houses were sold off.
“The pro-activeness of the Trinamul councillor in returning the house is proof enough that his party workers were involved in selling it. I will urge the administration to conduct a survey to ascertain if more such houses have been sold off by Trinamul workers,” CPM local committee secretary Pankaj Roy Sarkar said.
Yesterday, 35-year-old Sumita had accused police of refusing to register her complaint if she named Karmakar and Bauri, both known Trinamul activists in Durgapur’s Amravati area.
The police denied the allegation of refusing to take Sumita’s complaint.
According to the domestic help, who earns Rs 2,000 a month, she, Rajender and their children had gone to Uttar Pradesh in January. When they returned on February 24, they found another family occupying their house, said Sumita.
Houses built under schemes such as the Valmiki-Ambedkar Awas Yojana cannot be sold, nor can the beneficiaries rent them out. The house has to be handed back to civic authorities if the occupant decides to vacate it.