Racket in tribal land sale unearthed

RAIPUR, AUG. 4. A major racket in sale and purchase of tribal land on forged documents has come to light in Raigarh with the arrest of four persons, including a senior officer of the Jindal- owned Monnet Steel who are setting up a power plant in the district.

The Jindals are alleged to have purchased land from the tribals through benami transactions for setting up the power plant, according to sources. The sale and purchase of tribal land in the scheduled areas by private persons is prohibited. The Jindals are setting up the power plant in collaboration with the State Government.

The arrests were made in Milupara where a tribal woman, Jankibai, was reportedly deprived of two acres through fraudulent transactions of the land which she had been refusing to sell despite pressure on her family. Jankibai owned 22 acres of land in the area of which two acres was shown as sold to another tribal Amar Singh Gond for Rs. 2 lakhs in August last year.

Failing to persuade Jankibai to part with her land, the four, including some middlemen, reportedly prepared forged documents and produced another tribal woman, Dhanmati Bai, before the sub- registrar as Jankibai. Her photograph was also pasted on the transfer documents and she was made to sign on the papers as the genuine owner. A senior officer of Monnet Steel also signed the papers as witness.

When Jankibai came of know of the fraud she took up the matter with the officers and the woman who had signed the papers, where she was forced to sign a second set of registration papers. In her complaint to the police she said she was pressurised and their credit books retained by the officers of Monnet Steels. When police went to trace the supposed buyer, Amar Singh, it was realised that no one by that name existed at the address shown in the documents.

Police are now looking for Dubraj Singh, a middleman, who is suspected to have planned the entire deal. Police believe that many such cases could be unveiled in the days to come.

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Referred by: Mukundan C.M.
Published on:August 5, 2001
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