51 acres of govt land grabbed: RTI activist

Last Updated : 03 October 2018, 10:34 IST

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In a startling revelation; 51.04 acres of government land earmarked for rehabilitation of people displaced by Hidkal backwaters, are misappropriated by private people.

The misappropriation came to light following a query filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, by RTI activist Bhimappa Gadad.

Gadad alleged that land sharks, in connivance with the Revenue Department, had encroached land worth several crores.

"The government land was entered in private people's names while the Revenue department computerized its records," Gadad alleged at a media meet, in Belagavi, on Wednesday.

'Records eaten by termites'

Gadad said that 51.04 acres of arable land located in Islampur village in Yamakanamaradi Hobli, Hukkeri taluk, was now owned by private individuals --Gorli Yallappa Lagma, Jininral B Yallappa, Mundali Sateppa Yallappa, Mundali Lagmappa Sateppa, Gorli Lagmappa Yallappa, Mandali Veerabhadra Yallappa, Mandali Balappa Yallappa, Mandali Sanjay Balappa, Mandali Arun Balappa --as per the records.

When enquired via an RTI application, officials refused to provide the information claiming that documents were damaged by termites.

Tampered records

Subsequently, Hukkeri tahsildar's report in this connection, submitted to the deputy commissioner recently, mentioned that the records were manipulated just before computerisation.

"Documents were tampered manually and changes were made in the record of rights without proper documentation. I suspect the involvement of five village accountants in this fraud," Gadad alleged.

Gadad said that though seven months had passed since the tahsildar's report, district officials had not acted. He demanded an inquiry and recovery of the land from private people.

Published 03 October 2018, 10:30 IST

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