More trouble on cards for Gajbhiye as Odisha govt probes land deals

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Gop (Puri), Aug 13:

Former Kendrapara SP Satish Gajbhiye, who was suspended by the Odisha government this evening for his inept handling of the stand-off over Sarathi Baba in Kendrapara town on August 7, could have more trouble coming his way if facts emerging from the ongoing inquiry into his alleged acquisition and encroachment of land in Gop area of Puri district is anything to go by.

Satish Gajbhiye; Suspended
Satish Gajbhiye; Suspended

Revenue and Vigilance officials arrived at the Gop Sub-Registrar’s office and scanned several documents pertaining to land purchased by Ranjana Satish Gajbhiye, wife of the former Kendrapara SP.

Vigilance and Revenue department officials measured land recorded in the name of  Ranjana Gajbhiye and alleged encroachment of government land by her in Bada Kiapala and Sana Kiapala mouza of Gop tehsil.

Vigilance officials had visited the spot and spoken to local people on Wednesday too.

There have been reports in the media that more than 35 acres of agricultural land had been purchased by the senior police officer in name of his wife in 2012-2013. Gajbhiye has allegedly illegally acquired and encroached more than 40 acres of Gochar and Anabadi land and part of the bed of Kadua river. He has reportedly engaged dalals for construction of a number of big ponds for fishery, which is going on since 2013.  An estimated Rs 30-Rs 40 crore is said to have been invested by the IPS officer for digging ponds in around 100 acres of land. Gajbhiye has not disclosed the information about his property in his property statement submitted to Government of India in 2014, reports alleged.

Gajbhiye, however, rubbished the charges on Wednesday. “In 2012, I purchased a little less than nine acres of land in Gop block of Puri district for my wife. The land is still vacant. Fish farming is being done on some patches of land adjoining my property. I do not own those patches where ponds have been dug up and fish farming is going on,” he had said.

He claimed to have declared the Gop property to the government. I have not kept the government in dark about it. The purchase of land is duly reflected in my property statement,” he said.

This morning, the Home secretary told the media that Gajbhiye’s land deals were being investigated and if found guilty, appropriate action will be taken against him.

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