Troubles for Chhattisgarh Minsiter Brijmohan Agrawal and his family doesn’t seem to end anytime soon as another records obtained by Indian Express states that the MoS and his family have acquired an additional 26.83 hectares of ‘patta’ land which was given on lease to the farmers and tribals by the government. Brijmohan, his wife Sarita Agarwal and son Abhishek in the recent past have been under the radar for acquiring 4.12 hectares of forest land and encroaching upon 13.90 hectares of government land to build a resort. Tapping upon the recent revelation, the revenue court which comes under the Mahasamund District Collector is now analysing the details of the acquisition. It is also being reported that some of the farmers and tribals who sold their land have alleged that they were forcefully asked to vacate the land because their tracts were already been encroached upon.
The report further stated that the 2.35 hectares of the ‘patta’ land was acquired by Abhishek Agarwal in five different transactions and 11.82 hectares by Aditya Srijan Pvt Ltd – a firm owned by Abhishek and Sarita. Speaking about the same with Indian Express, the MoS said that his family did not do anything against the law and also that he did not misuse his government position to get any work done.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday, Minister Brijmohan Agrawal said, “Right now, there is an environment (against me). After this ends, I will give a point-wise answer. I have asked for many documents. After I get them, I will clear the air. There has been an investigation into this for eight years, why are notices emerging only now? This is being promoted from somewhere, and there is an attempt to defame me.”
“Television channels have gone to the village and they (the villagers) have said that they are happy that this project is coming up and is bringing development. We have not put pressure on or troubled anyone. I have not used my government position to get any work done,” he added.
But the records obtained bisect his statement as on May 15, the Mahasamund tehsildar wrote to the District Collector, stating as many as 49 instances of acquisition of government ‘patta’ land, that sums up to 26.83 hectares of tracts. The subject line of the letter read: “In connection with the illegal buying and selling of land and corruption in village Sirpur.”
“From the report from the patwari dated May 5, it is clear that under the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Act 1959, section 165, clause 7(a), this land can only be transferred after permission of the Collector, or a revenue officer of the rank of the Collector, with a written explanation, or it cannot be given. The sold land is documented as government land. Therefore, this is being forwarded to the Collector, Mahasamund for action under the Land Revenue Act 1959, section 165, clause 7(a),” read the letter written by the tehsildar.
When the paper asked Himshikhar Gupta, Collector, Mahasamund, to comment upon the issue, he said, “I would only like to say that it is under court procedure right now, and we are following that procedure.”