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Call to solve land disputes

The police headquarters has directed superintendents of police (SPs) to dispose of all pending land dispute cases within a stipulated timeframe.

The directive came in the wake of last weeks marathon meeting to review law and order in the state.

The meeting, chaired by chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, stressed on the need to dispose of land dispute cases within three months. The reason? Land disputes account for 40 per cent of the total murders recorded in the state. A total of 3,441 persons were killed in the state in 2013.

As per the latest instruction, investigating officers have to spend adequate time with circle officers and block development officers who hold all land-related details to find the truth behind land dispute complaints. Station house officers (SHOs) have been asked to coordinate with investigating officers to solve the cases.

Official records say 45,906 land dispute complaints were lodged between January 2010 and July 2014. Of them, only 23,181 complaints were disposed of and the remaining are still pending.

Purnea and Samastipur have the highest number of cases pending for disposal. While 3,318 cases are pending in Purnea, 2,725 are awaiting disposal in Samastipur district. Similarly Vaishali and Patna have 2,573 and 1,259 cases respectively pending for disposal.

A senior IAS officer, who was present at the review meeting, said the chief minister categorically asked the district magistrates to focus on disposal of land dispute cases. The government had entrusted revenue courts led by deputy collector, land reforms (DCLR) the task of solving land disputes.

The government had earlier set up 101 revenue courts under DCLRs jurisdiction to resolve land dispute cases within 90 days. DCLR courts were also provided requisite infrastructure to accelerate the process, the officer assigned to monitor the pending cases said.