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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Ex-DGP fences 150 acres 'shamlat deh' wild land

Prabhjit Singh, Hindustan Times   Saini Majra (SAS Nagar) , November 18, 2013
First Published: 00:10 IST(18/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:38 IST(18/11/2013)

Former Punjab police chief-turned Akali leader Paramdeep Singh Gill has fenced 150 acres of 'shamlat deh' land around a seasonal rivulet at Saini Majra village near Kurali in SAS Nagar district, throwing the cancellation of the 'girdawari' (possession of land) in his name to the winds.

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The former DGP, who also dug 600 feet deep for striking water but in vain, even concealed the fact that the 'girdawari' in his name had been annulled by the Dera Bassi SDM, while moving the court for restraining three villagers from disturbing his possession of the land.

Naib tehsildar Rupinder Manku who entered the 'girdawari' in Gill's name in the revenue records in January 2012 was suspended after the revelations last year.

The Saini Majra village panchayat, through a resolution dated September 18, 2013, had lodged a complaint with the rural development and panahcayat department for the land's possession, which was forwarded to the Mohali deputy commissioner. But no action has been taken so far.

"We have been approaching the DC and the SSP, but nobody dared take action," said village sarpanch Avtar Singh.

Pointing out to the threats that he had been getting for pursuing the matter, the sarpanch also blamed certain persons in the village who, he maintained, took money from Gill.

The village sarpanch seemed to be right as one Ranjodh Singh of the village confronted this correspondent at the site. Sounding drunk, Ranjodh defended the ex-DGP, saying the former had received Rs. 15 lakh for a part of the land in question that he had possessed from his ancestors.

When asked how he could part with the 'shamlat deh' land, Ranjodh said the matter was pending in the court.

The rural development and panchayat department, in May 2012, had lodged the complaint in vain with the Mohali DC that the land in question was illegally occupied in violation of not only the Punjab Village Common Land Act but also the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). The entire 150 acres of the fenced pastures fall under the PLPA, which cannot be cultivated.

Mohali deputy commissioner Tejinderpal Singh Sidhu, when contacted, acknowledged that a matter related to the said land was pending in a civil court. But when told that there was no stay by a court restraining the panchayat from seeking possession of the 'shamlat deh' land, the DC evaded the question, saying he had already issued general instructions to the SDMs to restore all such lands back to the panchayats.

PS Gill could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Gill has also moved the court of the Rupnagar divisional commissioner appealing against the Dera Bassi SDM's order cancelling the 'girdawari' in his name. "The facts stated clearly show that the order of the naib tehsildar dated January 27, 2012 and the subsequent correction of 'girdawari' in the name of Paramdeep Singh, son of Nachattar Singh is wholly illegal," stated the SDM's inquiry report dated July 26, 2013.
 
SAD ex-MLA helpless

The ruling SAD's former MLA Ujagar Singh Badali, who was approached by the village panchayat, expressed his helplessness in getting the land vacated from his party colleague.

He refused to comment further saying the case was in the court.
 
Gill in tribunal's report

The second interim report of the Justice Kuldip Singh tribunal had suggested to the state government that the occupation of the 'shamlat deh' land at Saini Majra village allegedly by PS Gill needed to be probed. It had also taken notice of certain revenue proceedings in this regard.

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