Ruling-BJD MLA in trouble over ‘land grab’ charges

Puri: BJD’s Kakatpur MLA, Surendra Sethi seems to have landed in trouble as residents of Silari village have brought land grab allegations against the legislator.

As per the charges, the legislator has constructed an office of the party after usurping a plot adjacent to his house in Silari. Revenue department records also corroborate the allegations.

Sethi’s house is on Plot no – 620, but it is alleged that he has encroached upon Plot no – 648 to construct the party office. Though villagers are aware of the encroachment, they are reluctant to come out in public out of fear. They also claimed that the MLA has not converted the land from ‘Sarada’ (agricultural) land to residential category.

“In the last five years, he encroached upon the land and constructed a house. Though villagers know everything, they did not raise voice as he is very influential,” said Shreenath Moharana, a Silari resident.

Levelling similar charges, another local Basant Kumar Rout said, “He usurped the ‘gochara’ (grazing) land and built his house. As he is an MLA, people are afraid of speaking against him.”

Meanwhile, MLA Sethi said an application has been filed to change the kisam of the land on which his house has been built. He also stated that the land on which the party office has been built is a ‘stitiban’ (freehold) land.

“I have applied for changing the ‘kisam’ of the land. The party office land is a ‘stitiban’ land. Surely, a probe should be launched into the allegations,” Sethi said emphatically.

On the other hand, a case has been filed in Orissa High Court against the MLA whereas Kakatpur Tehsildar Ashok Swain has initiated an inquiry after registering a case.

“If someone has grabbed government land, action will be taken against the person as per law irrespective of the position of the concerned person,” said Swain.