Following a report carried by Hindustan Times in its January 26 edition, Choto Kaur (72), an illiterate woman of Chupki village in Patran, has got back land valued at Rs. 80 lakh from some Shiromani Akali Dal leaders and an old-age home owner.
Choto Kaur was forced to 'donate' the land by Tarsem Chand, owner of Headmaster Sadhu Ram Bridh Ghar, an old-age home, and a protégé of Kapur Chand Bansal, president of Samana municipal committee.
Choto was rescued by an NGO and her elder son from the old-age home, where she was being held captive after the 'land donation'.
Interestingly, after the HT report, deputy commissioner GK Singh had marked an inquiry against the owners of an old-age home at Samana, who had forced an inmate to 'donate' her land.
After HT report, former Vidhan Sabha deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh and social activist Sunita Singh had pursued the matter with the district administration.
Tarsem Chand, who earlier had claimed that Choto sold land to them, now, has transferred the land back in the name of Choto Kaur. In the registry, he has claimed that Choto has paid him back Rs. 16 lakh, which she had taken while 'selling the land'. However, Choto, in a press conference, said that neither was she paid a single penny for the 'donation' deed and nor she paid any money to get it back.
Officials said that following the probe marked by the deputy commissioner, Tarsem Chand was under pressure to return the land. Accompanied by former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh, Choto on Sunday thanked the media and social activist for supporting her. She narrated how the owners of the old-age home had betrayed her. She said as she was not getting along well with one of her sons, she decided to stay at the old-age home, where the owners betrayed her and she had nearly lost her 2-acre plot.
Choto said she was upset ever since the death of her husband last year.
Bir Devinder Singh said he would take the case to its logical end. "The transfer of the land back to the elderly woman has proved the misdeed of all accused, including SAD leaders, who worked behind the curtains. The DC must mark an departmental probe against the tehsildar and also order registration of FIR against the Samana MC president and his protégé Tarsem Chand, owner of old-age home."
He said that he would now apprise the chief minister of the case and demand exemplary punishment to the culprits who betrayed the woman.