In a fresh land scam in the City, a retired additional tehsildar of Bhubaneswar was arrested on Thursday after the revenue officials found his complicity in issuing fake record of rights (RoRs) for government land located on the outskirts of the Capital city.
Pradyumna Mohanty, the former additional tehsildar, had retired from service in April this year. Badagarah police arrested him after an FIR was lodged by Bhubaneswar Tehsildar Ashok Behera in this connection.
Mohanty, according to police, was involved in cheating by changing the “kisam” of a government land measuring about two acres and issued RoR in Kalarahanga RI circle near the City. He has been charged under Sections 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code.
Although the case appeared to be a simple cheating case, the modus operandi has surprised the revenue officials. Reliable sources said Mohanty had allegedly built a series of parallel case records so as to issue the patta to the people. Complicity of local revenue officials as well as outsiders is suspected.
The matter came to light when the tehsildar’s office found six to seven suspect cases where RoR had been issued. Following an internal inquiry, it was found that Mohanty had used case numbers of applications rejected by the tehsildar to build a parallel case file. Basing on the case files, the “kisam” of the government land was changed to homestead and fake RoR was issued.
“Since we could trace one case to the original file in which Mohanty’s complicity was clear, we decided to name him in the FIR,” Sub-collector Saroj Kumar Samal said. In the other cases, the direct linkage is being probed.
Suspecting role of other officials in issuing the fake RoRs, the Sub-collector transferred at least two data entry officers and one dealing assistant.
The revenue officials, however, suspect a well-oiled mechanism behind the whole scam. “It is just not possible for one man to do what Mohanty allegedly did. There are outsiders and insiders too. We want all the players to be exposed,” said an official.
The Bhubaneswar Sub-collector has already issued an order for review of the land against which such RoRs were issued. Samal said those who have been issued the pattas will be given an audience for ascertaining that they are not part of the whole exercise.
This is not the first land scam in the City. In the past, a series of such land bunglings had come to the notice of the Revenue Department which had entrusted the investigation to Crime Branch of the State Police.