Jindals grab Chhattisgarh tribal land worth crores
Raigarh ( Chattisgarh): In ordinary circumstances, Santram Paikara would have grabbed global headlines. After all, you don’t get to hear stories about a poor tribal carrying out land deals worth crores of rupees every day.
Why then the world’s not talking about Santram? Well, it’s because of the Jindals.
When the Chhattisgarh tribal was buying land worth crores of rupees in Raigarh, 280 km from the state capital of Raipur, he was working with Jindal Power – earning a daily wage of Rs 160. That was in 2008.
For five years, the world didn’t have a clue about how Santram was landing up all those big- ticket deals. In March 2014, the Raigarh district administration stumbled upon the answer.
A detailed list of tribal land transactions revealed that even though the deals took place between two tribals, the land was actually in possession of third parties – mostly middlemen or industries in Raigarh.
Jindal Power and its subsidiaries possess at least 108 acres of land in the Tamnar area of Raigarh and adjacent areas. Section 170 ( b) of the Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code, 1959, bars the sale of tribal agricultural land to non- tribals in order to protect the interests of the poor and illiterate tribals.
District magistrate Mukesh Bansal told dna he faced stiff resistance even from within his own department while drawing the list of tribal land transactions.
“The law has been circumvented ... and heads will definitely roll. The case is going on in the court and I am convening a meeting with all the revenue officers next week assess the status,” he said.
On criminal culpability in the matter, Bansal said, “We will see that when the court will hear the matter... there are some government officials involved... At least, this list will now stop such land deals in future.”