Cassian Baliarsingh

A mega government land scam allegation to the tune of Rs 250 crore has sent shockwaves across Odisha. Former Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) M Nageswara Rao, who claims to be a victim of the fraud, has made shocking allegations that government lands were sold by land mafia in cahoots with powerful people including IAS and IPS officers in the State.

The former CBI head alleged that a mastermind Nrusingha Prasad Sundaray alias Babino, in cahoots with powerful people, fraudulently sold the government land, which they encroached on by creating forged documents. 

As per an RTI reply, land measuring a total of around 7.5 acres located on government plot no- 321 under Patrapada Mouza and situated alongside National Highway, has been sold and purchased at least 27 times. Shockingly, the sale deeds were allegedly executed in the names of former Director General of Police (DGP) Odisha Sanjeev Marik’s son Sudeep Marik (in 2009), former Director of Intelligence R.P Koche (in 2010), former Additional DGP Shyam Sundar Hansdah’s wife and son (in 2011) and former Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) M. Nageswara Rao’s wife and son (in 2011), including several others.

IPS officer Nageswara Rao has claimed that he is also the victim of the fraud and had even registered an FIR in 2015. But, despite his efforts, he failed to get the FIR registered as many powerful people were involved in the case.

According to local RTI body Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan (OSAA), Nrusingha is the brother of a former BJD corporator from Ward no-49 in Aiginia locality and the brother-in-law of corporator Sanjukta Sundaray.

He has been allegedly involved in selling government land by using manipulated land records with the help of several powerful people. Shockingly, Nrusingha has registered lands in the name of former DGP Sanjeev Marik’s son and RP Koche, M. Nageswara Rao and his wife M Sandhya, and IPS officer Shyam Sundar Hansdah, his wife Pankajini and their son Partha Sarathi.

However, IPS officer Nageswara rubbished his links with Nrusingha and revealed that he himself was the victim of the fraud. “My batchmate Shyam Sundar Hansdah introduced me to Babino when I was in Bhubaneswar. He then showed us a patch of land and promised that all the documents were valid and also told me about how many other IAS and IPS officers had bought land in a similar manner,” Rao said to OTV.

He further added, “My friend Hansdah told me he had also bought land and was building a house there. After fixing the price, I paid Rs 9.5L for 4,000 sqft of land and also did the registration. Later, when I contacted the Tehsildar for mutation, he said that it was government land. I immediately wrote a complaint to SP, Economic Offences Wing (EOW).”

“I lodged an FIR in 2015, but they did not register my case when Sanjeev Marik was the DGP. So many powerful people are involved in this. Totally exhausted and finding no way to justice, in view of the impending marriage of my daughter for which I needed money, I agreed to the deed of cancellation and my money was returned,” Rao revealed.

Meanwhile, allegations are there that apart from the six acres, Nrusingha has occupied and possesses another patch of forest land measuring 1.5 acres near Smruti Bana (memorial forest area) in the State Capital.

By bribing unscrupulous officials, he has allegedly managed to obtain due approval from BDA and has constructed multi-storey buildings, market complexes, and residential houses on the occupied land in Patrapada Mouza.

“Valuation of the illegally possessed lands is around Rs 250 crore in open market,” OSAA revealed.

DGP Sanjeev Marik Responds

Responding to the allegations, former DGP Sanjeev Marik said, “It is not a fact. He is a complete liar. He had a fight with the person from whom he had bought the land. Nrusingha had even lodged a complaint against Nageswara Rao. If I bought a land and I was cheated, then a case will be under 420, 467, 468 and 471 will be lodged. He has never approached me, he is lying. BK Sharma who was the EOW Head was his batchmate, why didn't he approach him? Did he ask me before buying the land? He lodged an FIR directly to DIG EOW?”

A thorough probe should be conducted and then only the truth will be revealed,” he added.

No comments could be obtained from the other IPS officers or Nrusingha in this regard.

Also Read | Odisha Govt Orders Resumption of Public Grievance Hearings in all Departments

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