Odisha CSOs demand CBI probe into Gajbhiye land deals

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 12:

Members of the 28 civil society organisations (CSOs) working on land scam in the state today submitted a memorandum to the Superintendent of Police (SP) of CBI in Odisha capital demanding immediate inquiry into the details of land purchased by Satish Gajbhiye and huge money obtained from chit fund operators by him for investment in construction of pond for fishery in Gop Block of Puri district.

satish gajbhiye pic

The 28-member delegation led by Pradip Pradhan, state convener of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan (OSAA), handed over the memorandum to the Rajiv Ranjan, SP, Special Investigative Team (SIT) CBI addressed to the director of CBI New Delhi.

In the memorandum, the activists have come up with allegations on accumulation of huge property of land purchased by the IPS officer in the name of his wife Ranjana Gajbhiye in Gop block of Puri district.

A fact-finding team of civil society groups consisting of Pradhan, Sudhir Mohanty and Pratap Sahu had visited the aforesaid block yesterday and had inquired into the matter. The team collected the copy of the sale deed from the people and found that the huge land had been purchased from families of dalit caste and general caste of Barimunda and Baulanga villages.

After interacting with the villagers and the people who had sold the land, the team noticed that more than 35 acres of agricultural land had been purchased by the senior police officer in name of his wife in 2012-2013. The land sellers also said that they had not seen Ranjana Gajbhiye during the sale and signing of the sale deed at the office of Sub-registrar, Gop, the memorandum revealed. Two dalals linked with chit fund operators – Kailash Pradhan of Chadheigan village of Nagpur panchayat and Dillip Nayak of Chhanijang village – had executed all the formalities of the sale, giving money against the cost of the land on behalf of Ranjana.

The team also noticed that Gajbhiye had illegally acquired and encroached more than 40 acres of Gochar and Anabadi land and river bed of Kadua river and engaged dalals for construction of a number of big ponds for fishery, which is going on since 2013. An estimated Rs 30-Rs 40 crores had been invested by the IPS officer for digging pond in around 100 acres of land. Astonishingly, Gajbhiye has not disclosed the information about his property in his property statement submitted to Government of India in 2014, it alleged.

Jayanta Das, member of OSAA said, “How Satish Gajbhiye got huge money for investment for construction of pond? We allege that Gajbhiye had got huge money through his chit fund link with fraud chit fund companies. He was earlier grilled by CBI and also received funds from controversial Baba Sarathi who had also chit fund link which is under investigation of Crime Branch.”

“We have requested the CBI to investigate the matter immediately as we know the state agency may suppress the matter in its course of investigation,” he added.

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