Himansu Shekhar Rout

About 68 acres of government land in Bharatpur area of Bhubaneswar have been sold by some frauds and land sharks after forging the land documents in their names.

Taking gullible people for a ride, land sharks have fleeced lakh of rupees from the former. Such a scam came to the fore during an investigation by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), which has filed a complaint at the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch.

The EOW has so far booked three people in this connection. However, some fraudsters are absconding, sources said.     

As per reports, scores of poor people have been victims to the fraudsters by paying amounts ranging Rs 20,000 to Rs 1 lakh to buy some patches of the government land at Shyampur village. Now the land buyers are in trouble after some of them have built houses on the government land by spending lakhs of rupees.

Jayanti Sahu, one of the women, who has purchased land from land sharks, said, "We have bought a patch of land for Rs 40,000. We are poor people and do not know about the land’s status. It is up to the government to decide on the fate of our land.”

Another woman also said that she has purchased the land for Rs 40,000 but her family did not examin if the land is government or private. “We have land records of our land,” she said with a tinge of innocence.   

On the other hand, the BDA is planning to provide housing units under affordable housing scheme to slum dwellers at Shyampur. The BDA has 68 acres of land at Shyampur where this housing project was proposed to come up. But, years ago, the land was sold fraudulently by unscrupulous people. 

The preliminary investigation by the BDA revealed that Manas Nayak and Bansidhar Nayak of Shyampur and Charan Nayak of Bankuala are involved in the land fraud while several other people are said to be part of the land scam. 

Meanwhile, the EOW has stepped up its investigation and registered cases against the three while the others involved in it will be identified. 

Also Read: Police bust ‘bouncer gang’ involved in forcible possession of land in Bhubaneswar

BDA special secretary Kabindra Kumar Sahoo, said, “Manas Nayak and Bansidhar Nayak of Shyampur and Charan Nayak of Bankuala fraudulently sold our land to poor people. We have filed a case against the three persons. In two or three days, further investigation into the scam will be carried out. If others are involved in it, they will be identified soon.” 

It is alleged that not only in Shyampur, acres of government land have been encroached by land sharks at several other places in Bhubaneswar.

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