Retired OFDC official arrested in land scam

Baripada: A retired Divisional Manager of Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) was arrested by the police today in connection with a land scam case here.

The OFDC official Purna Chandra Senapati was later sent on judicial remand by the court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Baripada, Siddhartha Sahu.

A leased plot, measuring over 7 acres of OFDC at Palbani in Baripada town, was transferred in the name of a construction firm in 1999 after the death of the original land owner.

Later it was recorded in the name of Ranjit Mohanty, the owner of the said firm, a crime branch official said.

Mayurbhanj District Collector Rajesh Pravakar Patil had cancelled the change of ownership in land records last month.

The plot is currently valued at over Rs 30 crore in current market price, the official said.

While main accused Mohanty is now in jail custody after being arrested last month by the crime branch from Bhubaneswar, Senapati allegedly played a role in the illegal land deal while he was in office during 1999-2000.

The FIR lodged by Crime Branch in Baripada town police station has also named Baidyanath Kar, former Tehsildar of Baripada, Sub-Registrar of Betanati, a Revenue Inspector and amin as co-accused in the scam.