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Illegal transfer of tribal land brought to High Court’s notice

While the state government’s policy is to try and protect tribal land through various schemes,an influential builder-promoter nexus is allegedly involved in the illegal transfer of tribal land holding ownership in parts of Hooghly district.

Written by Kanchan Chakraborty | Kolkata |
September 7, 2010 6:33:32 am

Tribal woman files petition; influential promoter allegedly involved in such practices near Chinsura town

While the state government’s policy is to try and protect tribal land through various schemes,an influential builder-promoter nexus is allegedly involved in the illegal transfer of tribal land holding ownership in parts of Hooghly district. A case of such illegal transfer of tribal land was brought to the notice of the Calcutta High Court on Friday. The court intervened and directed the revenue officer of Chinsura block to draw proceedings on the illegal transfer.

Panubala Oraon,65,a tribal woman staying on a plot at Akna village on the outskirts of Chinsura town since 1981,handed the land over to her son Kartik Oraon,36,by a gift deed on March 19,2010. On the deed,according to which the value of the plot was Rs 1.25 lakh,Kartik Oraon was shown as Kartik Das,a non-tribal.

After receiving the gift deed,Kartik sold the land to Hemanta Haldar and Sabtri Devi for Rs 4.5 lakh in June 2010,dividing it into two plots.

Following this land transfer,the Dr B R Ambedkar Mission,a social organisation which works for tribals in various districts,filed a PIL with the Calcutta High Court in July. Panubala too filed a petition with the High Court. The petition pointed out that a tribal land holding cannot be transferred to a non-tribal person.

Advocate Mukundalal Sarkar,counsel for the petitioner,submitted that land owned by a tribal could be handed over only to a tribal,according to the provisions of the Land Reforms Act. He pointed out that Kartik had changed his surname without filing an affidavit in court,after being influenced by a building promoter to sell his land.

Advocate Partha Sarathi Bhattacharya,counsel for Panubala,submitted that local building promoter Supriya Manna was behind the land transfer and had influenced the Oraon family to hand over the land in such a manner.

Kartik had been influenced by Manna and he did so to earn some extra money,said Bhattacharya.

A Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya directed the Chinsura Block revenue officer to complete the proceedings on the illegal transaction in six months.

More than 100 tribal families reside in Akna village,which is located on the outskirts of Chinsura town. The land price there is on the rise due to a racket by building promoters to grab tribal land.

Supriya Manna has been trying to influenced the tribals there to transfer their land at higher prices,said Sarkar.

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