NGO fakes documents, gets prime land in Mysore

NGO fakes documents, gets prime land in Mysore

This city-based NGO has achieved the unthinkable at lightning speed, through nefarious means.

It registered itself in April 2010, gave a representation to then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa seeking land two months later and managed to get a gazette notification in September same year granting it nine acres of prime land, worth somewhere close to Rs 15 crore.

What helped them achieve this was a series of forgeries that went undetected till Mysore Tahsildar Dr B S Manjunatha Swamy smelt a rat in the entire episode and verified the documents with the help of his officers.

Despite the Deputy Commissioner’s letter, seeking quashing of the government order and the gazette notification, reaching the State government a fortnight ago, powers that be are mum on the whole episode.

The Jwalamukhi Tripurasundari Seva Sangha - which mostly had office-bearers and 19 others - wrote a letter to Yeddyurappa, seeking allotment of 9.01 acres of ‘vacant’ land for setting up a slew of facilities - old age homes, anganwadi centres, Rama Mandiras and parks. The letter also mentioned an intention to provide sites for its members at its own cost and conduct social activities.

A letter seeking land status by Revenue Secretary N Krishnappa was sent to then Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta, who flatly said land transfer was not possible since there was shortage of land even for government projects.

A letter was mysteriously created, as if it originated from the DC’s office with a signature, recommending that the government transfer the land. Another fake document from the office of the Revenue Secretary, Multi-Storey building, Bangalore, was created - urging for the handing over of the land and publishing it in the State gazetteer. The gazette notification was issued in five days flat. 

The issue came to light when N Ramachandra of the NGO, came to the office of Tahsildar Dr Manjunatha Swamy a good one year later on September 9, 2011, with all the ‘relevant’ documents attached, seeking the handing over of this land. Copies of the documents are in possession of Deccan Herald.

Earlier, in 1997, the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) had notified the above mentioned land for forming a layout. However, this was objected to by the tahsildar stating that a lake existed on this land.

This factor was tackled with another letter mysteriously surfacing, with the signature of M M Hiremath, Secretary of the Department of Urban Development, in January 2011. The letter said that the acquisition process had been given up ‘on some conditions,’ mentioning the Sangha as one of the beneficiaries.

Upon verifying, the tahsildar was startled to discover that there were no records of either the allotment of land or the de-notification order. He kept Deputy Commissioner Vastrad and Assistant Commissioner informed and recorded Ramachandra’s statement since he had signed in English and Kannada separately at different points of time, admitting that both were his.

The Deputy Commissioner wrote to the State seeking verification of documents which were forged and recommended cancelling of the gazette notification.

Involvement of government workers at all levels and ‘guidance’ - including those at the government press - is quite clear. It is now for the State to act on this case.