The Gujarat police have arrested a senior government officer for allegedly having a role in the irregularities in land allotment to the 2001 earthquake victims in Bhuj.
Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner Pradeep Sharma was arrested from his residence on Wednesday after a Criminal Investigation Department probe found him guilty , Additional Director General of Police V.V. Rabari said.
Aravind Thakkar, president of the Bhuj Navnirman Charitable Trust, and two trustees were also arrested from Bhuj.
The scam goes back to 2003-06 when Sharma, an IAS officer, was the collector of Kutch. District headquarter Bhuj was the epicentre of the devastating quake.
The government allotted 17 acres of land to the Beed Gate market traders to rehabilitate them.
The land meant for the G5 category victims (the worst-hit) was, however, allotted at a throwaway price to those not entitled to the benefit.
Of the 400 beneficiaries, more than 300 were not genuine, Rabadri told HT.
Soon after the arrests were made, shopowners, who benefited from the scheme, came out on the streets against the move. They have called for shutdown in Bhuj on Thursday.