THE MORADABAD district administration has ordered an inquiry into allegations levelled by a local businessman that a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) “threatened” him by sending a JCB machine and getting a portion of a building in his plot demolished when asked to pay dues of furniture that he (the SDM) had bought, officials said on Saturday.
District Magistrate, Moradabad, Shailendra Kumar Singh said the SDM, Ghanshyam Verma, has been removed from his post to ensure a “fair inquiry into the matter. Ghanshyam Verma has been attached with the Moradabad Collectorate office. Verma was posted at Bilari for around eight months.
The DM saidthe inquiry is still in progress and “all facts are being verified.”
However, Verma denied the allegations. Verma termed these as a “conspiracy” to stop him from taking action against the businessman, Zahid Ahmed, who he claimed “illegally encroached government land.” Verma also claimed that after a notice was issued to Ahmed in this regard, he started making “false claims” that the SDM had purchased furniture from his shop and did not pay.
On July 12, a team of the district administration demolished a boundary wall of a plot that is in the possession of the complainant. On the basis of Ahmed’s complaint, Moradabad Commissioner Aunjaneya Kumar Singh ordered an inquiry into the matter.
Additional District Magistrate, Moradabad, Surendra Singh has been directed to submit a report within a week.
Aunjaneya Kumar Singh told The Sunday Express, “On July 11, I received a complaint from a local businessman, who claimed that the SDM (Verma) had issued a notice regarding illegal construction to him only after he asked him (SDM) to pay dues of furniture that was purchased.”
The Commissioner immediately directed District Magistrate (DM), Moradabad Shailendra Kumar Singh to get an inquiry conducted by an Additional District Magistrate (ADM) rank officer.
“Two days ago, I got to know that a portion of a building [owned by Ahmed] was demolished. On Saturday, I asked the DM to immediately send an inquiry report so that action can be taken,” said Kumar Singh.
When contacted, Additional District Magistrate, Moradabad, Surendra Singh, said an inquiry into the matter is “still on”.
Ahmed is a resident of Bilhari locality in Moradabad and owns a furniture showroom.
Ahmed claimed to mediapersons that SDM Verma visited his shop and purchased some furniture goods on two occasions. The SDM sent some of the purchased goods to his residence in Moradabad and another set to his daughter, who lives in Hardoi, Ahmed further claimed.
“After the goods reached Hardoi, I went to the SDM’s office and handed him a bill of Rs 2.64 lakh. On seeing the bill, the SDM started verbally abusing me and threatened that he would teach me a lesson. Later, I came to know that SDM was issuing a notice to me… I met the Moradabad Commissioner and filed a complaint against the SDM,” Ahmed claimed. He aded, “On coming to know that an inquiry has been ordered against him, the SDM got angry and sent a team of the district administration with a JCB machine to my place. I immediately informed senior officials but before they could stop him, the team demolished a boundary wall of my plot,” said the businessman.
He added, “If any construction on my plot is illegal, the administration should demolish it but the SDM should be asked to pay my bills.”
When contacted on Saturday, Ahmed said his statement was being recorded by an inquiry officer.
Meanwhile, SDM Ghanshyam Verma denied all the allegations made by Ahmed, terming these as “false”.
“I have not purchased any furniture from him. There is a conspiracy behind the allegations. All bills being produced by Zahid are fake. Zahid encroached government pond land and gheraoed it. There was a complaint into the matter and an inquiry found the allegations to be true,” said Verma.
He added that a notice was issued to Ahmed on July 7 asking him to remove the encroachment by July 10, failing which it would be removed forcibly. When he did not comply, a team was sent to remove the encroachment, said the SDM, adding that as the pond was deep, the operation was stopped midway and the entire structure constructed on the pond could not be demolished.
District Magistrate, Shailendra Kumar Singh told mediapersons on Saturday that an ADM is conducting an inquiry and on the basis of his report, action will