BERHAMPUR: Yet another land grab case has been filed against former Congress MLA of Sanakhemundi Ramesh Jena by a temple trust at Sadar police station on Saturday.
Trustee of Radhakant temple, Bhabanipur, Narasingha Das stated in his FIR that by assuring profits to the temple, Jena took around four acres of land in 2013. His father Arakhita, realtors Sai Patnaik and Rajiv Tripathy, and corporator of Berhampur Municipal Corporation R Murali were also a party to the deal, Das alleged. They later converted the land into housing plots.
However, when Das inquired about the cost of land, Jena threatened him with dire consequences forcing him to stay mum on the issue. Das also submitted relevant documents along with the FIR, SP Asish Singh said.
Of the five persons against whom Sadar Police has registered the case, four are in jail, except Rajiv, the SP added.
With the new case, the total number of cases filed against Jena since March 6 has gone up to 21. Of the total cases, eight relate to land grabbing and the rest relate to murder, rape, extortion, tender fixing, guthka, liquor and firearms, the SP said.
So far, 27 associates of Jena, including criminals, realtors and an advocate have been arrested and police are searching for four more realtors, who are absconding.
The SP said investigation into the procurement of firearms by Jena is on and many more persons are likely to be arrested in this connection. Several other allegations against Jena, including attempt to sell the land of SSVT Cinema Hall, has reached the police.
On March 13, a similar land grab case was filed by a trustee of Raghunath temple at Borigaon. In this case too, Jena, along with his father, corporator and realtor Buna Sahu, grabbed 4.1 acres of land and used it to construct an approach road to other housing plots.
Informing about the steps taken by the police administration to make Ganjam a crime-free district, the SP said the drive started on March 22 and till Friday, a total of 169 criminals, besides 536 warrantees and 220 other miscreants, have been nabbed for indulging in illegal liquor trade.
“Our aim is to wipe out crime and if a criminal after quitting his act joins the mainstream of the society, he will not be arrested,” the SP said. The criminals should appear in their respective area PSs regularly.