Bhubaneswar, September 21 (LocalWire): Odisha Lokayukta has ordered the crime branch of the state police to furnish a compliance report on the alleged multi-crore land scam in Ghangapatna area on the outskirts of the city.
Responding to a complaint that the police had adopted a go-slow approach in probing the land scam, the anti-corruption watchdog asked the Additional Director General Crime Branch to submit the report on or before 17 October and posted the matter for further hearing on 21 October.
The land scam related to grabbing of government plots by influential politicians had come to the fore five years back and had sparked a major political row in the state.
The then Bhubaneswar tehsildar had uncovered the land scam.
In a report to the revenue higher-ups, the officials had pointed out large-scale irregularities in the sale and purchase of land in Ghangapatana.
The middlemen and land mafias, according to the tehsildar’s report submitted then, had connived with senior officials and had sold out the revenue land unlawfully.
Incidentally, it is alleged that politicians from both the ruling and the opposition have grabbed land in collusion with tehsil and revenue officials.
With the land scam putting the government in a tight spot, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had handed over the matter to the crime branch on 28 August 2014 for investigation.
The investigating agency had been directed to expeditiously probe the matter and submit a report within two months.
The Economics Offence Wing (EWO) of the state crime branch had probed the scam and arrested seven persons, including four government officials in the multi-crore land scam.
However, powerful and influential politicians who had grabbed the government plots have been left unpunished, the petition moved with the Lokayukta maintained.