Probe reports point to land loot in Bokaro

  1. Bari cooperative colony,
  2. Manmohan Singh cooperative,
  3. Adarsh cooperative,
  4. Sattan hillocks,
  5. Chira Chas, Chas,
  6. Jogidih colony and
  7. Kuer Singh colony

The spectre of a land scam has raised its head in Bokaro with outgoing deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal saying that non-transferable land in various areas might have been sold off illegally by government officials.

This comes at a time a multi-crore scam involving 800 acres of non-transferable state and private land has rocked Deoghar.

In August, Kaushal had ordered an inquiry after laying hands on incriminating documents that suggest illegal sale of at least 20 acres at Bari cooperative colony, Manmohan Singh cooperative, Adarsh cooperative, Sattan hillocks, Chira Chas, Chas, Jogidih and Kuer Singh colony. The DC had formed a team, comprising deputy collectors and Chas (Bokaro) SDO Sudhir Ranjan, to conduct preliminary investigations.

The team inspected the sites under scanner and detected irregularities in allotment of land, including gair majrua, tribal land and forestland. They found out that even the Garga riverbed has been encroached upon.

“A massive land loot cannot be ruled out in Bokaro. But I do not want to take any measure in haste. Rather, all documents of the disputed land must be studied thoroughly first. If foul play is detected, an eviction drive will be carried out and the plots handed over to their rightful owners,” Kaushal, who has been transferred to Ramgarh as DC, said.

“But as I have been transferred, the ball will be now in the new deputy commissioner’s court,” he added.

Asked whether his transfer had anything to do with exposure of the land scam, the DC said: “No comments. It’s the prerogative of the government.”

Incidentally, the land controversy at Bari cooperative and nearby areas first broke in 2005-06 during the tenure of former deputy commissioner Amrendra Partap Singh (now industries secretary). Singh had also ordered an inquiry, but the matter was swept under the carpet soon after his transfer. Reports of illegal land dealings have also come from another posh locality, Lohanchal cooperative, prompting the deputy commissioner to stop the ongoing registration process of land there.