Thane: Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has asked the Revenue Secretary to take action and probe the complaints by activists against scores of suspicious land transfer deals in Ambarnath taluka of Thane district.
Earlier, the FPJ reported that the Ambernath tahsildar imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on a Parel-based family for violation of Land Tenancy Act while the official information obtained by an RTI activist showed that the family had no credentials of being farmers to be eligible to buy agricultural lands.
B N Kumar, convenor of Alert Citizens Team (ACT) said, “We have received an email from the chief minister marking the complaint specifically to Dr Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary – Revenue. It is not an automated response since the CMO has taken almost 20 days to respond after we alerted Shinde following the uncovering of the scam by RTI activist Nandakumar Pawar.”
Pawar had pursued the matter with the taluka and district revenue officials through the RTI route and obtained critical information following which Ambernath tahsildar Prashanti Mane had imposed the penalty on Temton Minu Ankleshwaria and his family members Shirin Minu, Ruby Temton, Diana Minu and Minu Nadirshah.
Quoting the information obtained under the RTI Act, Pawar said, “Other than Ankleshwarias, there are scores of suspicious land deals, the survey number details of which have been submitted to the Tahsildar.”
Pawar said that the order imposing the penalty on Temtons is just the beginning of a larger scam. The Tahsildar took note of several other lands falling under at least 20 survey numbers and the total area comes to much more than 2.06 hectares. The other lands were not considered and the Tahsildar chose to keep them outside the purview of the Land Tenancy Act which is highly mysterious. Considering the penalty amounts, the offences appear to be significant and the revenue officials ought to have filed criminal cases against offenders and officials who complied with the deals, he said.
Pawar complied when he was asked to make a separate application for details of the order. “I have been fighting the case for over four and half years ever since I came to know of the fraudulent land deals involving hundreds of acres.”
Meanwhile, B N Kumar called for a high-level probe by the CID into the matter to ensure justice for the farmers who might have been forced into selling lands. Each and every plot that was transferred should be looked into he urged.
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