There was more trouble in store for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), which is headed by the son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Hamipur MP Anurag Thakur, after the police filed a case under Section 447 of the Indian Penal Code (criminal trespass).
Giving details, Kangra police chief Balbir Thakur said during its investigation, the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau found the cricketing body had encroached upon government land.
“The land in question, measuring about 2,000 square meters, belongs to the state education department and is located near the Dharamsala cricket stadium,” he stated, adding a wall facing a college had been erected on the land.
Thakur said revenue documents retrieved by the police revealed the land in question was in addition to that leased out to the HPCA. “Hence the case falls within the district police’s jurisdiction. It’s a separate case of land encroachment and is not linked with the vigilance bureau inquiry. As the matter doesn’t fall within its jurisdiction, the agency had written to us in February this year to probe the matter and take further action”, he added.
Thakur said further investigations in the case will be conducted by the Dharamsala police station house officer under the supervision of the district police top brass.
It may be mentioned here that the vigilance bureau had already filed an FIR against the cricketing body last October for encroaching upon government land and demolition of government property located near the main entrance of the town’s stadium.
Meanwhile, HPCA spokesman Sanjay Sharma condemned the police action, claiming it was taken at the behest of chief minister Virbhadra Singh. “What’s the point in filing a fresh case when all the matters relating to the HPCA are pending in the high court? We haven’t encroached upon a single inch of government land and it’s all being done to harass the association as its president is contesting the parliamentary polls,” he alleged.