Unleashing a fresh salvo on the state government for selling land to outsiders in Himachal, former Congress minister Major Vijay Singh Mankotia on Monday said the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led government had given a freehand to criminals to buy land in the hill state.
"The biggest example is Gopal Kanda, the accused in Geetika Sharma suicide case. He has a major share in a private university that has come up in Indora area of Kangra," said Mankotia, adding, "The property's 90% ownership is on the name of Govind Kanda, brother of Gopal Kanda."
"In fact Himachal has become a safe haven for people like Kanda to convert black money into white," added Mankotia.
Mankotia alleged that when he filed an RTI application seeking information about the ownership, the university authorities tried to mislead him by giving wrong information and stated that the trustees of the university were same as earlier.
"Gopal Kanda had also come to the university last year as the chief guest for the annual function," said Mankotia.
Maintaining that the land for this private university was bought by JK Jain Educational Trust but later changed hands with Kanda, Mankotia wanted to know from the government if it was aware of the ownership change.
"Everybody has seen that Kanda arrived for surrender in a car of a news channel owned by JK Jain," said Mankotia, adding that Kanda has property not only in Kangra but in other districts too.
"The people who are investing crores of rupees in setting up these private universities are just turning their black money into white and all this could not have taken place without a price. Some people are getting major share in these land deals," alleged Mankotia.
Apprehending that if such things continue, the situation in Himachal will become volatile like Assam in near future, Mankotia said a time would come when most of the land would be purchased by outsiders and the hill state would lose its identity and would be more like extension of Punjab and Haryana.
"Himachal will be next Assam in India and the situation here will be more volatile than the north-eastern state," said Mankotia.