Bhubaneswar: The Tehsildar of Kanas in Puri district Sanjay Kumar Pratihari is considered to be carrying a lot of clout, more than any secretary, minister and even the Chief Minister and it is alleged that he enjoys it with the backing of the 3rd floor of the secretariat.
Protesting Pratihari’s corrupt practices, the Kanas Nagarik Manch today staged a demonstration and took out a signature campaign demanding action. BJP leader Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh had yesterday brought similar allegations against Pratihari.
According to sources, a lot of allegations of irregularities surfaced against Pratihari when he was the additional settlement officer at the Janla settlement camp. These allegations included transfer of government land to private parties, malafide alteration of land records and manipulation of government records among others.
After such irregularities were proved, the then Revenue department secretary, Mona Sharma had issued suspension order against him. Moreover, the CM had also approved crime branch probe against the revenue official.
What has come as a surprise to many is the fact that no action has been taken against him.
“He was neither suspended nor was any case registered. He escaped action as he enjoys protection from a bureaucrat from the 3rd floor of the Secretariat,” said Rama Ranjan Baliarsingh.
“The tehsildar is ignoring those who are coming with their grievances to the tehsil office and misbehaving with them. He is being protected by the local legislator and collector. His connections are spread till the 3rd floor of the Secretariat,” said advisor of Kanas Nagarik Manch, Krushna Jagdev.
Many believe that he escaped crime branch probe despite CM’s orders because he enjoys the patronage of a bureaucrat.
When approached for comments, the tehsildar evaded saying he was in a meeting in Puri.
“I am out for a meeting in Puri. You can speak to the local MLA and the Collector in this regard,” the tehsildar replied over phone.
Even the Revenue minister spoke in support of the Tehsildar.
“We have received no complaints against him. What information we have got is that some people are trying to give it a political colour,” said Revenue Minister, Maheswar Mohanty.