In an alleged case of grabbing of 6-kanal land of the Rajasthan government situated at a prime location on the Chahal-Faridkot road, the demarcation of the disputed property was done again on February 28 as the seller and buyers had expressed their dissatisfaction over the demarcation carried out in December 2011 after which the deputy commissioner had set aside the mutation.
The move came after Pawan Kumar, a petitioner in the case, approached the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking directions for registration of criminal cases against the seller and buyers after the Faridkot police failed to take action on their own inquiry report.
The directions to the Faridkot SSP to take appropriate action within a month came on January 30.
An inquiry was conducted by the economic offences wing of the Faridkot police into the case on October 25, 2012, on the basis of which police sought legal opinion of the district attorney. The DA had said prima facie a case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been made out against people who had sold and bought the said land.
Though the mutation was effected by the assistant collector, grade-1, earlier, following an appeal by Pawan Kumar, the deputy commissioner had observed that on the basis of the report of the field staff, the person who had sold 6 kanal and 9 marlas of land was left with only 9 marlas in his name as he failed to prove his claim on the remaining 6 kanals. So, he had set aside the mutation in June 2012.
The case came to light due to the clash of interest between two buyers -- Pawan Kumar and the opposite party.
“I had received a copy of the high court order on February 9, but both the parties -- who had sold the land in question and the buyer -- wanted to get the land demarcated again. So the demarcation has been done under the supervision of tehsildar, Faridkot; XEN, canal department; and a revenue officer who had done the earlier demarcation in December 2011. The action would be taken on the report of revenue authorities before March 7,” said Gurpreet Singh Toor, SSP, Faridkot.
Attempts to grab land
'Land sharks' had always been attempting to grab the land of the canal department, which was acquired by the Rajasthan government in 1959 for the construction of Rajasthan feeder, which originates from the confluence of Sutlej and Beas rivers at the Harike headworks. The spare land along the canal runs into thousands of acres worth crores of rupees.
After acquiring the land, the Rajasthan government did not get the mutation done in its name, as a result the property is still shown in the name of its old owners in revenue records. Taking benefit of this loophole, influential people try to buy or sell the land at prime location along the Rajasthan canal. At places, some farmers are cultivating the land and several people are using it commercially in an unauthorised manner.
Several cases to fore
Several attempts have been made to grab the land, say sources. “One Jeet Singh, a resident of Pakka village, had reportedly approached a Faridkot court in 2010 when some influential person tried to grab nearly 18 kanals of land of the Rajasthan government. Jeet Singh, who had admitted in the court that he was cultivating the land illegally and was in possession of land, did not let it happen due to his own interest and later on the Faridkot SDM set aside the mutation. The case is pending in court,” sources said.
Sources added that land grab is not possible without the connivance of revenue authorities because even doubtful mutation was approved by them. Faridkot tehsildar Harsimran Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. He also did not respond to the text message.