Armed goons ask Bolpur official for ‘land tweak’
Two armed goons on Friday afternoon allegedly stormed into the office of the Bolpur block land and land reforms officer Sanjay Roy, held him at gunpoint and asked him to record a few land parcels in the name of “their persons”.
The incident shocked land officials and exposed how the so-called land mafia had become desperate in Bolpur and adjoining Santiniketan.
Roy, the BLRO, lodged a complaint with Bolpur police and sought police security for his office after the incident.
Eyewitnesses said two youths entered Roy’s chamber around 4pm on Friday, dropped a few papers on his table, whipped out their guns and asked him to record a few parcels of land in the name of “their persons” at the earliest.
“This was simply an unprecedented incident. I am still in trauma and can’t elaborate on what happened to me. I have lodged a complaint related to the incident,” said Roy.
An employee in Roy’s office, who was present at the time of the incident, said that the goons asked Roy to complete the task of illegally recording the properties “in a day or two” and left the place.
Police reached the block land office and started a probe.
“There is no CCTV coverage inside or outside the block land office. We have taken the physical description of the two persons. Probe is on,” said a police officer.
Sources said the land mafia became active in Bolpur and Santiniketan since at least the past two decades when people from Calcutta started buying real estate in the varsity town.
“A lot of people are involved in this racket because of high demand. However, we never witnessed an incident of the kind that happened today (Friday),” said a police officer.
Last year, over 100 landowners in Bolpur and Santiniketan had formed a committee and submitted a memorandum to the local block land revenue office, demanding action against the alleged growing instances of land-grab in the area through fake deeds.
After the agitation by local landowners, the administration had taken multiple steps to stop the fraudulent transfer of land and property.
“However, the situation has not changed much since then. A few corrupt government officials are involved in helping fraudsters and criminals run land rackets,” alleged a source.