DQ row; Vigilance inquiry will be impartial, asserts Odisha minister

Odisha Sun Times Bureau:
Bhubaneswar, Dec 22:

Under pressure from the regional media and Opposition parties and seeking to allay apprehensions from various quarters, the Odisha government today issued a statement reiterating its stand on an impartial and fair Vigilance inquiry into the alleged illegalities and wrongdoings in the allotment of land/plot/flat under the discretionary quota (DQ) scheme.

Dr Damodar Rout
Dr Damodar Rout

Amid much hue and cry, the state government cancelled all allotments made after January 1, 1995 under the scheme on the recommendation of the Taradutt committee’s report.

‘‘Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had ordered an inquiry following media reports, allegations from several organisations, individuals and Opposition parties. It was alleged that several politicians and bureaucrats haveusurped land/plots/flats in different projects under the scheme,’’ Cooperative and Excise Minister Dr Damodar Sahu said in a release.

On the Chief Minister’s orders, the Task Force submitted its report on land allotments by BDA, CDA, OSHB and GA department in four months. ‘The Task Force can only submit its report to the government based on its investigations. It’s not a law enforcing agency. In view of this, the cabinet decided to conduct Vigilance inquiry into the matter. This is a strong and exemplary decision by the Chief Minister and the government,’ the release said.

‘‘The guilty should be punished. The Vigilance probe would not be lenient towards anybody and the decision is a fearless and independent one,’’ Dr Rout said.

However, media and Opposition parties have indulged in spreading misleading information even before the start of Vigilance probe. This is quite unfortunate, the release said.

‘‘Why are individuals not involved in any wrongdoing behaving diabolically? Are the media reports laced with views the principles of journalism?’’ questioned Dr Rout.

Exuding confidence of a fair Vigilance probe, the minister said, ‘‘the inquiry will be impartial and exemplary. The guilty will be punished and the rightful owners will get justice.’’

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