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No letter from Amitabh, say UP govt

UP Govt denies reports about receiving info about Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan's decision to surrender his Barabanki farmland, report HT Correspondents.
Hindustan Times | By Vijay Sharma and Urvi Mahajani, Lucknow And Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2007 04:09 AM IST

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who is embroiled in controversies over acquiring farmland, has decided to surrender his properties to the original farmers in Pune district and the village body in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh.

“A two-page letter from Bachchan was received by my office at about 2.00 p.m. on Thursday in which he has expressed his desire to donate the agricultural land he has bought in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh to the Gram Sabha there and the land in Maval taluka (in Pune district) to the original farmers,” Pune Divisional Commissioner Nitin Kareer said. Bachchan had purchased the lands claiming to be a farmer but the deals came under legal challenge with the UP government cancelling the farmland allotment in Barabanki.

“Because the letter is not a registered document, we would have to follow certain procedures like calling for say of different parties etc to give effect to his wish,” Kareer said.

Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane told reporters in Mumbai that the Pune divisional commissioner had received the letter from the actor in which said he wanted the land to be given back to the original owners free of cost. But in Lucknow, Principal secretary to the UP chief minister, Shailesh Krishna, said the state had so far hasn’t received any letter.

Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has directed the Enforcement Directorate and the Centre to investigate allegations of violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the actor. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Nirmal Thakur, a reporter with a newspaper 'Nirbhay Pathik' seeking CBI inquiry into alleged tax evasion by Bachchan.

With PTI inputs

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