The subdivisional magistrate (SDM) looking into the allegation of misappropriation of compensation money that was meant for wheat farmers after unseasonal rain and hailstorm in March has given a clean chit to revenue officials who calculated the losses at Gatti Raipur village near Shahkot.
On September 29, 23 farmers from the village had met deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav with a complaint. After girdawari (special revenue survey), the government had fixed `8,000 per acre as compensation but wheat farmers said they had not received a penny. They accuse the surveyors from the agriculture and revenue departments of preparing a false report in connivance with big farmers, whose potato was allegedly shown as wheat to misappropriate the compensation money.
Pritam Singh, one of affected farmers, said he had sown wheat on 35 acres, which had made him entitled to `1.3-lakh compensation, though the government had paid him nothing yet. Farmer Jaspal, who had received a cheque for `16,000, told the DC he deserved `1 lakh as compensation. The DC had assigned the inquiry to Shahkot SDM Sanjeev Sharma.
The SDM’s report (HT has a copy) suggests that he went to the village on October 9 and recorded the statements of 23 complainants, besides the revenue officials and other village representatives. He wrote that sudden rainfall had damaged wheat over 265 acres at the village, and none of the potato farmers had received any compensation. He agrees with the records and the reports of Lohian’s naib tehsildar, kanungo and patwari and disagrees with the allegations against officials.
The inquiry report mentions that 10 out of the 23 complainants had received due compensation from the government. The SDM also requested the deputy commissioner to release the pending compensation.