Himansu Shekhar Rout

Some locals reportedly approached the Khordha administration again today in connection with a land dispute in Sarua under Begunia tehsil. 

The protestors have reportedly brought allegations against Odisha Infra-Tech Private Limited and have demanded the return of their land and restoration of ownership of the land taken by the company.

As per their allegations, though they had earlier approached the district collector regarding the same, no steps have been taken to return their land. The complainants warned of intensifying their stir if immediate steps are not taken to return their land and restore their ownership. 

Sukanti Nayak, a local resident of Sarua, who was seen leading the agitation, said, “No step is being taken to return our land despite our demands before the district administration. Hence, we are staging agitation today.”

Khordha ADM, Pratap Chandra Beura said, "I had received a petition from the people about their complaint, but the tehsildar concerned needs to take follow-up action on behalf of the tehsil. Secondly, they (complainants) have never inquired about the follow-up action. They have again given a petition after a gap of three-four months.”

He further stated, "We will get to know from the tehsildar what kind of legal procedures have been violated and legal action will be taken accordingly.” 

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Range), Suresh Chandra Dalai, said, “I have spoken to the Collector about the matter which will be thoroughly investigated.”    

Meanwhile, questions are being raised over some vested interests instigating such agitations at regular intervals on an issue that is quite old. Many observe that those having any complaints should knock on the doors of the court. Without taking the issue to the court of law, some people with vested interests are intentionally trying to tarnish the image of OTV.

There have been instances of OTV authorities and some staff being harassed in false cases three years ago. With such attempts being made again, many believe that it is a well-thought-out conspiracy that stems from a deep-rooted grudge.