UP village carnage: SIT questions SDM who transferred trust land to IAS officers’ wives 30 years agoUpdated: Sep 11, 2019 20:22 IST
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged Sonbhadra land irregularities questioned Ashok Kumar Srivastav, who was subdivisional magistrate (SDM) in Sonbhadra in 1989, when the land of a trust was transferred to the wives of two IAS officers, a senior police official privy to the matter said.
Sonbhadra district’s Umbha village, where 11 tribal people were killed in indiscriminate firing on July 17, allegedly by a local village head and his aides in a dispute over possession of farming land, fell under Srivastav’s jurisdiction.
The transfer of land later lead to the problems which resulted in the carnage in July.
“Ashok Kumar was quizzed for over three hours to understand the conditions under which the land was transferred in the names of wives of IAS officers. His responses in this regard were not very satisfactory,” said the senior police official. He was quizzed at SIT headquarters inside Signature Building, the new UP Police headquarters, in Lucknow.
Srivastav retired from service last year as the additional chief executive officer of Noida.
Senior police officials said the land was transferred to Asha Mishra, wife of Prabhat Kumar Mishra, IAS, and Vineeta Sharma, wife of another IAS officer, on the report of the then tehsildar one Jai Singh.
The SIT earlier questioned Manikandan, a 2016-batch IAS officer, and PCS officer Vijay Prakash Tewari who was subdivisional magistrate (SDM) of Ghorawal in Sonbhadra at the time of the incident.
The IAS officer was summoned for questioning as he had directed deployment of police force to provide possession of land to the local village head Yagya Dutt who was claiming ownership on the dispute land. The tribal people, were however, farming on the same land for past 50 years.
According to the police officer, the disputed land was in the name of the gram sabha till 1957.
“The land was transferred in the name of the trust and thereafter transferred in the names of the IAS officers’ wives in 1989. The land was later resold and registered in the name of the Umbha village pradhan Yagya Dutt in 2017,” he said.
“The tribal families continued to do farming on this land during these years,” he said.
First Published: Sep 11, 2019 20:22 IST