Odishatv Bureau

Puri: The nine-member probe team constituted to investigate the allegations of land grab of land allotted for Puri Swargadwar (Crematorium) concluded its first phase investigations and will submit a report to the administration based on which, the Puri Collector said, steps have been outlined to reclaim land.

Puri collector Arvind Agarwal on Wednesday conducted an on-the-spot verification of the 5.66-acre land recorded in favour of Lord Jagannath with nectar food (amrut manohi) status. As per the Collector, the probe committee will submit the report in which they have suggested measures on how to reclaim land which have been usurped. Moreover, the Collector also highlighted that the extent of irregularities is so vast that every day new facts are being unearthed and more time is needed for a thorough probe.

“If we are taking time to complete the probe then one could understand the extent of complexity. The more we are going deep we are coming across new facts. There is a need of more time to complete 135 cases. We also have some information about some land transactions which are going to happen which we will include in the 2nd phase of our inquiry,” said Agarwal.

On the other hand, protests over such land irregularities failed to die down. Demanding arrest of MLA Maheswar Mohanty and resignation of Puri Municipality chairman, Jayant Sarangi, the Puri Youth Congress took to the streets.

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“The current Municipality chairman Jayant Sarangi should resign and MLA Maheswar Mohanty who was the Municipality chairperson when the irregularities happened should be arrested. If there had been civil proceedings earlier, then why the administration is not repossessing the land,” said State Secretary of Youth Congress, Sujit Mohapatra.

Even the land grab issue featured in the discussions in Assembly today when BJP MLA Rabi Nayak demanded that the land recorded in favour of Lord Jagannath with nectar food (amrut manohi) status should be reclaimed back from the clutches of influential persons.

“The land allotted to Govardhan Peeth, Swargadwar have been grabbed by influential people and they should be immediately evicted and stringent action should be taken,” said Nayak.