Vikash Sharma

The Vigilance department on Monday carried out raids at premises belonging to six retired government officials in different parts of the Odisha in connection with a major land fraud case probe.

As per reports, simultaneous house searches are currently underway at 9 places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur districts.

As many as 9 teams led by one Additional SP, 11 DSPs, 6 inspector rank officers are conducting the raids at multiple locations in the four districts.

The officials who are under scanner include Ramesh Chandra Panda, Ex-Tehasildar, Kujang, Mahendra Prasad Mohanty, Ex- Sub-Collector, Jagatsinghpur (retd), Santosh Kumar Mallick, Ex-Revenue Inspector, Jhimani, RI Circle, Narendra Kumar Lenka, Ex-Revenue Inspector, Paradeep Garh (retd), Sri Subash Chandra Das, Ex- Revenue Inspector, Kujanga and Jyoti Bhusan Barik an Ex- Revenue Inspector of Pandua Circle.

The raids are being conducted over charges of criminal misconduct, misappropriation, forgery and criminal conspiracy by these former government officials in illegally settling valuable Government land under the Odisha Government Land Settlement Act in favour of in-eligible beneficiaries under the Vasundhara scheme.

The Vigilance department had registered a case under Sections 13(2) ,13(1)(a) of the Prevention of Corruption ( Amendment) Act, 2018 and Sections 466/409/120-B of the Indian Penal Code in this connection. The probe seems to have gathered steam now.