The Assam government has set up an inquiry committee to probe land-related issues surrounding the suicide of a resort owner here and the arrest of Assam Don Bosco University vice-chancellor Father Stephen Mavely earlier this week.
The BJP-led government announced the constitution of the three-member committee on Thursday night, hours after Gauhati High Court granted bail to Father Mavely.
The committee, headed by additional chief secretary Paban Barthakur, will probe the Don Bosco University land-grabbing issue under Sonapur revenue circle here.
The committee, which also has state revenue commissioner G.D. Tripathi and Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha as members, “will inquire whether the allegations are true and in the event of so, the committee will suggest means to recover the land”.
An official said there was “no” formal case of land grabbing against the private university but the government set up the probe committee because issues like trespassing allegedly triggered the suicide of 65-year-old George Bordoloi.
“The present inquiry will survey the land possessed by the varsity and if there are any issues involving the land,” he said, adding possessing unauthorised government land and using it for commercial purposes is viewed as land grabbing.
The Sonapur police here booked Father Mavely under IPC Section 306 (abetment of suicide) on Tuesday after Patrick Bordoloi, 35, the son of the deceased resort owner, lodged an FIR, accusing Father Mavely of mentally tormenting his father by levelling false charges of trespassing and damaging their crop and plantation.
“In fact, my father had received a summons from the court because of Father Stephen that had led him to a state of mental agony and constant stress, forcing him to commit suicide,” stated the FIR.
The FIR also mentions a purported note by the deceased, holding Mavely responsible for his suicide.
The leading private university, established in 2008, had issued a statement by pro-VC Joseph Nellanatt on the day of the arrest, confirming an ongoing litigation in the court with Bordoloi over a land dispute.
A forest official said they had lodged a police complaint against the varsity for blocking a stream and illegal cutting of hills on May 7.
A varsity official said they were responding to the charges but it had nothing to do with the suicide case, adding they welcomed the government probe instituted on Thursday.