Land issue involving Agri Minister gets more complex

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Jul 2017 11:39:21

Staff Reporter,


July 28,

It seems that the Agriculture Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, who’s name has been mired into alleged forest land purchase issue, is far from getting respite. A notice has been issued by the Mahasamund District Administration, which is investigating the purchase of land for building a resort in village Jalki in Sirpur under Mahasamund district by Sarita Agrawal, wife of Agriculture Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, recommending its registry null and void. It is being stated that the notice has been reportedly issued from the office of Mahasamund Collector.

It is worth mentioning here that a three member committee comprising of DFO Alok Tiwari, P K Anand Executive Engineer WRD and Joint Collector S K Tiwari, had been constituted on the directive of Divisional Commissioner. The said committee has forwarded its report to the Irrigation as well as Forest Department for further proceedings. As per the recommendations of the committee, it has found error in the enquiry. Sources further informed that during the enquiry it was found that the said land was donated to Water Resources Department but some how it was not recorded in the land revenue records. Thereafter the department was in a dilemma as to what action it could take on this issue.

It is being stated that if the Agriculture Minister doesn’t return the land in contention, the WRD might go for civil suit. According to officials, the Agrawal family is not at fault in purchasing the said land and it has been done legally. However, the fault lies on the part of farmer, who allegedly sold the said land, which he had earlier donated to WRD, to the Minister’s family. According to the officials, the farmer took the opportunity as the WRD didn’t update the land records. Without doing so, it handed over the land to Forest Department.

Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, while commenting on the issued had stated that said that the report he had called from Chief Secretary had been handed over to him. He is yet to go through the report and only after going through the report he will be in a position of commenting. The Chief Minister further added that Agriculture Minister Brijmohan Agrawal has also submitted his clarification and while doing so he had assured that he is open to any kind of investigation initiated by any agency. He further added that the issue has been taken into cognizance by the Bharatiya Janata Party National leadership and that further steps will be taken after seeing the report.

Meanwhile, on the backdrop of allegations levelled against Minister Brijmohan Agrawal’s family members that the land purchased by them at Sirpur in Mahasamund district, where a tourist resort ‘Shyam Vatika’ has been built, is a forest land, allegedly donated to WRD by one Vishnu Sahu and was subsequently transferred over to the forest department for plantation purpose, the Chief Secretary had filed an 11-page report.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister had stated that the allegations leveled against him are false and fictitious. He had stated that in case he is proved wrong, he will surrender the land in contention to the state government. The Agriculture Minister had maintained that the land has been purchased after going though all necessary legal procedures. He said if required the government can undergo investigation through any state, national or international agency into the whole issue. He said his family members purchased the said land way back in 2009 at Rs 5 lakh from Vishnu Sahu, son of Shyamlal Sahu after complete verification of 16-point Kist Bandi Khatauni which was duly verified by the revenue department followed by issuance of loan-book after registry.