Land scam worth around Rs 250 Crore surfaces in Odisha Capital; 4 IPS officers involved in transactions

Bhubaneswar: A mega scam of government lands worth a total of around Rs 250 Crore has occurred under Patrapada Mouza and by the side of the national highway in Bhubaneswar. The lands were earlier sold and purchased at least 27 times and four senior IPS officers were part of the transactions, alleged a local RTI outfit named Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan (OSAA) in a press conference held here today.

The patches of land measuring a total of around 7.5 acres are located on the government Plot No-321, which has been grabbed by some land mafia. A prominent land mafia named Nrusingha Prasad Sundaray aka Babina fraudulently sold the patches of land by using fabricated documents. Sale deeds were executed in the names of former Director General of Police (DGP)-Odisha Sanjeev Marik’s son Sudeep Marik (in 2009), former Director of Intelligence R.P Koche (in 2010), former Additional DGP Shyam Sundar Hansdah’s wife and son (in 2011), and former Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) M. Nageswara Rao’s wife and son (in 2011), including several others, the activist said.

The activist claimed that Nrusingha is the brother of a former BJD corporator from Ward No-49 (in Aiginia locality) and the elder brother-in-law of present BJD corporator Sanjukta Sundaray.

Nrusingha and his three close relatives — Minakshi Jena, Ashok Sundaray, and Shailabala Jena had projected themselves as landless to avail government lands in Patrapada Mouza on a lease basis between 1978 and 1980. They had taken the patches of land (1.5 acres each) for agricultural purposes.

Initially, the total six acres were grabbed when the land consolidation operation was underway in Patrapada Mouza under Bhubaneswar tehsil between 1973 and 1985. As per the Orissa Consolidation of Holdings (OCH) & Prevention of Fragmentation of Land (PFL) Act, 1972, a tehsildar is not empowered to lease out any land when the consolidation Act is in force, the outfit stressed while briefing mediapersons.

Nrusingha had managed to convince the erstwhile tehsildar, and his subordinate staff and obtained the lease deeds in his favour. However, at a subsequent stage, the lease deeds were nulled by a former Sub-Collector of Bhubaneswar, and the entire plot was returned to government records in 2002.

In the meantime, Nrusingha and his relatives had managed to obtain hand-written Pattas (Records of Rights), by adopting unfair means. Allegedly, the erstwhile Khandagiri Sub-Registrar was bribed and the lands were sold and purchased about 27 times by using the manipulated land records. The illegal transactions were carried out by Nrusingha and his relatives between 2003 and 2018, the body stated.

When possession issues came up, Nrusingha contacted former DGP Sanjeev Marik and allegedly registered a patch of the government land (measuring 56 decimals) (Registration No-8590/2009/1, dated 05.10.2009) in the name of his son Sudeep free of cost and to gratify the senior official, OSAA stated.

Another patch of land measuring 108 decimals was registered (No-11131004682, dated 21.04.2010) in the name of RP Koche. Similarly, Minakshi sold 92 decimals of the plot (Registration No-1113101471, dated 04.02.2011) to the senior police official M Nageswara Rao and his wife M Sandhya.

Likewise, Shailabala had sold a patch of 90 decimals (Registration No-11131101804, dated 11.02.2011) to IPS officer Shyam Sundar Hansdah, his wife Pankajini, and their son Partha Sarathi. The IPS officer has also constructed a huge building on another government land in front of Traffic PS-II, OSAA functionaries alleged.

Apart from the six acres, Nrusingha has occupied and possesses another patch of forest land measuring 1.5 acres near Smruti Bana (a memorial forest area) in the State Capital. He has managed to obtain due approval from BDA by bribing some unscrupulous officials and has constructed multi-storey buildings, market complexes, and residential houses on the occupied land in Patrapada Mouza. “Valuation of the illegally possessed lands is around Rs 250 Crore in open market,” OSAA expressed.

Notably, the matter surfaced after OSAA recently obtained information from Bhubaneswar tehsil and BDA offices through the RTI. The patch of government land has been mentioned in Khata No-780.

Taking to X, Nageswara Rao wrote that he was a victim of fraud committed by Sundaray in connivance with powerful people.

“I was victim of a frau committed by Nrusingha Prasad Sundaray alias Babino in cahoots with powerful people in which they fraudulently sold government land which they encroached by creating forged documents etc. and the sale deed was registered with Sub-Registrar Office, Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar,” Rao posted on the micro-blogging site.

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