Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Dhumamara land grab case of Bolangir, which saw the suspension of a Tehsildar and an Additional Tehsildar, seems to have gone murkier after a video of the former Deputy Sub-Registrar (DSR) of Bolangir, Padmanav Purohit, went viral on social media.

In the viral video, Purohit, who is currently posted as the DSR of Bargarh district, has purportedly confessed to the crimes and accepted that he was indeed involved in several land grab cases by cheating the system and accepting bribes.

It is alleged that Purohit is the primary suspect in the Dhumamara land grab case. And despite the State Revenue department’s letter directing the district Collector to initiate action against all the officials involved in the case, Purohit is still roaming scot free.

The Revenue department’s letter has also directed to take action against the Record Keeper, Makardhwaja Kalsai and the Data Entry Operator, Santosh Kumar Swain.

However, only Makardhwaja could be arrested while Purohit and others are yet to be questioned by Police.

It is pertinent to mention here that the current DSR of Bolangir, Purnachandra Naik, who has recently replaced Purohit in the Sub-Registrar’s office, has claimed that there is a system in place to check the fraud in land registration but Purohit seems to have bypassed that in some manner.

“The seller and buyer have to verify their identity through Aadhaar biometrics. There cannot be a land registration if the data of the seller and their biometrics do not match. But it seems to me that Purohit did not use the Aadhaar authentication system to verify the sellers and buyers in order to make fraudulent transactions,” said Naik.

It is alleged that Purohit had been planting unsuspecting persons as the sellers of another person’s land and selling it to a land mafia at a discounted rate after accepting cut from the deals. The Tehsildar and Additional Tehsildar were also allegedly involved in the fraud.

While Purohit’s clerk Deepak Bagh has already been booked by the Police, Purohit himself is mysteriously out of the police clutches till now.

Bolangir Tehsildar, Maghaban Bagh and Additional Tehsildar Harekrushna Rout have already been put under suspension for their alleged involvement in selling a piece of land belonging to a dead person by forging documents. The State government had suspended the officials on the basis of a report submitted by the District Collector. A case has also been registered against them under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 34 of IPC.