Patna,(BiharTimes): Government funds were siphoned off on the pretext of buying land for the Mahadalit families under Raniganj block of Araria district.
According to reports for the purpose of making three decimal of land available to the 88 Mahadalit families under Raniganj block, 2.64 acre was bought in Kajra panchayat under Raniganj block in the year 2010.
It was bought from Anil Panjiyar, who was allegedly paid a huge amount of Rs 17.6 4 lakh for the said plot of land in September 2010 by the Raniganj Circle Officer (CO) Ram Vilas Jha.
What is surprising is that Panjiyar had bought the piece of land from two sisters––Shahida and Zubaida––of Rampur village only 10 days earlier. The sisters were promised Rs 3.83 lakh but were never paid the full amount, the report said.
The issue relating to the nexus between official and land mafia was raised in the state Assembly last year by BJP MLA Parmanand Rishi. After that the principal secretary, revenue and land reforms, C Ashokvardhan, had shot off a letter to Araria DM in December 2011.
The district magistrate, Saravanan, ordered an inquiry into the alleged scam on December 15, 2011. Araria senior deputy collector Rajendra Rai, who headed the inquiry committee, found the charges prima facie true and substantiated against CO.
By then some Mahadalit families were already in possession of the land which was bought from Panjiyar and reportedly distributed to them.
The district magistrate had on March 30 last sent his reply to the principal secretary, revenue and land reforms, framing charges against the Raniganj Circle Officer (CO) Ram Vilas Jha.
Araria DDC and at present in-charge DM Prabhat Mahanta confirmed that a status report was sought from Patna. He also admitted that the incumbent DM Saravanan had already sent his report on it to the government.
However, CO Ram Vilas Jha rubbished all the allegations against him.
Meanwhile, energy minister and in-charge, Araria district, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, during the review of development schemes at Araria on Thursday, ordered a thorough inquiry into the matter related to settlement of land with Mahadalit families in Belsara, Parsahat, Destura, Baguhat, Jagata, Pahusari and Parmanandpur panchayats under Raniganj and Kursakata blocks in the district. Deputy collector land reforms (DCLR) Touqueer Akram has been asked to go into the details of distribution of land to Mahadalit families in these two blocks.