ANI Photo | Odisha: BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi urges CM Patnaik to take action against land mafias

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Friday came down heavily on the BJD-led government and alleged that lands are being grabbed under the patronage of an influential bureaucrat. 
She urged Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik to take action against land encroachment that is being carried out in collusion with the highly placed bureaucrat. 
“Does he know that influential bureaucrats working in his office have close linkages with this land scam? Can he cause an enquiry as to why the local people take the name of a CM office bureaucrat while discussing about the enclosed piece of land? Can we have some clarity as to what exactly is the linkage?” questioned Sarangi.
Based on the complaints received from the affected people of two villages, MP Aparajita Sarangi visited the areas of Bhagabatipur and Giringaput village near Bhubaneswar on August 21, 2023.
“Can the Hon’ble CM come to the villages of Bhagabatipur and Giringaput which are close to Bhubaneswar and tell that this land encroachment has no link with mining mafias? Can he declare that strong and demonstrative action will be taken against those who are building farm houses by encroaching government and deities land? Can he declare before the people of Odisha that people whose names come up whenever there is a discussion of mining scam in Odisha are not given a licence to loot the lands of Odisha farmers and Odisha government?” she asked.
In the letter dated August 25, 2023 to CM Naveen Patnaik, she alleged around 150 acres have been covered with barbed wire fencing. The area covers large parcels of government land (anabadi, Chhota Jungle) which have been encroached, land of poor and helpless villagers who have not sold their parcels, yet don’t have access to their land as it has been fenced. 
MP Aparajita Sarangi stated, “I have been told that land parcels purchased by HAL employees for their housing society has also been encroached within the barbed wire fenced areas. Land belonging to Dhabaleshwar Deu Bije and other deities are also within the encroached area. The fencing has been done in a manner to prevent the landholders from entering their area and eventually to force them to sell it off to the mysterious lady from Tamil Nadu and requires a thorough investigation.”
BJP MP further alleged that it was widely believed that the land buying was happening with the patronage of an influential bureaucrat in the CM’s office and whenever the locals go to complaint before the Revenue or Police authorities, they were shut down by taking the name of the bureaucrat in the CM’s office.
BJP MP further said, “The most disturbing fact was that an existing canal providing water to farmlands was damaged in a systematic way. This canal was receiving water from Deras Reservoir and provided a lifeline to local farmers. This damage to the canal system had been done deliberately to prevent the farmers from cultivating their land and thus force them to sell off their land parcels. It was not only the areas inside the barbed wire fencing but an additional 300 acres of land outside the fenced areas which were deprived of irrigation water because of forcible damage to the irrigation canal.”
She alleged that the land mafias in operation had deployed goons to threaten local villagers and keep them quiet.
The BJP MP urged the CM to take strong action against such forcible encroachment of government and private land. She questioned if the land encroachment had any link with mining mafias. 
BJP MP questioned, “Can the CM institute an enquiry as to why the poor farmers are constrained to sell their land when so much of ‘development’ has happened in 23 years of his rule?” 
She warned that in the absence of a satisfactory answer from the Government of Odisha the pent-up anger and discontentment of the people of these villages would definitely take a different and difficult turn.
“Hon’ble CM will be solely responsible in case he decides to play the role of ‘Dhritarashtra’ on this issue,” said Sarangi

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