UP minister alleged to have usurped land belonging to STs

LUCKNOW: Members of the Tharu community submitted a memorandum to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh at the `Janata Darbar' held on Monday, alleging that his minster Amarmani Tripathi had illegaly usurped their land by having falsely declaring some of them dead in the land revenue records. The petitioners from the Schedule Tribe community hail from Nautava tehsil of Maharganj district.

However, Raj Kishore Chowdhary, Mahendra Nath Chowdhary, Gajendra, Lal Chand, Gulab Chand and Samunara, went back disappointed after Rajnath refused to meet them and instead asked minister Shiv Pratap Shukla to receive their memorandum. The Tharus threatened to hold a dharna before Rajnath's residence if their grievances were not addressed within a week.

Tripathi was in news recently for trying to grab a building rented out to an Army officer in a posh locality of the city. Tripathi has denied the allegation.

The Tharus' memo said the minister had illegally occupied seven of the 23.82 acres of land worth over Rs 2 crore belonging to about 15 Tharus and had opened a degree college, an education society and a gas agency on it. They had not raised their voices earlier as they feared the revenue officials and the police who were hand in glove with the minister, the memo alleged.

The land belonging to Samunara in Hardi Dali, Parsauni, Khurd and Nautanva areas were registered in the name of one Tribhuwan, allegedly a frontman for the minister, after declaring her dead. The minister had also tried to grab another piece of Samunara's land by having it transferred in his brother Ajit Mani's name.

When the registrar objected to the transfer on the ground that a tribal's land can be transferred to a member of the forward community only with the permission of the District Magistrate, he got it transferred in the name of a tribal named Labare and set up a gas agency and a school there. The land transferred to Labare is a actually benami property belonging to the minister, the memorandum claimed.

Samunara has two daughters. The first is married to a citizen of Nepal and the second was recently found dead in mysterious circumstances. The Tharusallege that the girl was murdered at the behest of the minister. The district officials are under the minister's influence and therefore a fair inquiry into the land grab can be conducted only by officials from outside the district, they said.

However, speaking to this website's newspaper, Amar Mani Tripathi refuted all the allegations and expressed his readiness to face an inquiry. Meanwhile, Principal Secretary, Revenue,has ordered a departmental inquiry into the case.

Addressing mediapersons later, Rajnath Singh said he was yet to go through the memorandum. Should the charges be found true, action will be taken against the guilty, he said.

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Source: http://www.newindpress.com/newsItems.asp?id=IEP20010604235635&eTitle=newindpress+%2D+States&rLink=0
Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: June 6, 2001
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