Odishatv Bureau

Champua (Keonjhar): Acting on the directive of the Odisha High Court, the Keonjhar district administration and the police is all set to launch an eviction drive to free the government land encroached by Champua MLA Sanatan Mahakud on April 22.

Informing this to the media in Wednesday, Keonjhar SP Kavita Jalan said the Odisha High Court had asked the district administration for a time limit for the eviction to be completed. Acting on the directive of the court, the administration had filed an affidavit on April 8 informing the court that the eviction would be completed within a month. After a joint meeting of the district administration and the police, it has been decided that the eviction would begin on April 22.

“We have made adequate security arrangements for the eviction. As per the decision, 25 platoons of armed police force would be deployed. The Additional SP, DSPs and officers of all police stations in the district who would remain present on the day of eviction. We have also requested the police officers of other districts to remain present on this day and manage the law and order situation. Besides, we have also made requisition for the magistrates who will monitor the process of eviction,” she said.

As per the facts mentioned in the order of the Champua Civil Judge Court and the Odisha High Court, Mahakud has encroached a vast stretch of government land at Uchabali Mouza under Badbil tehsil since 1980. Mahakud has built a mansion on the encroached land, which comes under Essel mining lease area.

As the illegal possession of the government land came to the fore and the Revenue department began investigation into the matter, the Champua MLA formed Maa Jagat Janani Trust in 2011 and built a temple of Goddess Jagat Janani in a bid to take legal possession of the land.

Badbil tehsildar then initiated a move to evict the encroached land. After being served with a notice by the Badbil tehsildar, Mahakud filed a petition in the Civil Judge(Senior Division) Court, Champua which rejected his petition. Later, he filed a writ petition in the Odisha High Court. While upholding the order of the lower court, the High Court made it clear that under no circumstances would the valuable government land be transferred in the name of a person.

“It is further stated that after encroaching this government land, illegal mining is going on. Being an affluent person with political connection, Mr Sanatan Mahakud has constructed these buildings on the pretext of worshipping the deity only with a mala fide intention of grabbing the valuable land with a view to carry out illegal mining activity as the land is having potential mineral deposits,” the High Court observed.

As a last resort, Mahakud later moved the Supreme Court. The apex court, in its order, allowed Mahakud to retain a portion of land where he had built the temple, but asked him to vacate the remaining encroached area while upholding the order of the lower court.

Taking note of the lack of sincerity of the district administration in the eviction of the encroached land despite the order of the Supreme Court, the High Court later asked the district administration to file an affidavit and mention the timeline for the eviction of the encroached land by the Champua MLA.