STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Jajpur, 7 February
Hundreds of residents of four revenue villages under Vyas Nagar tehsil in Jajpur district took out a massive rally today to protest the recent notice served upon them by the settlement authorities which claim that they have been living on forest land.
Maintaining that it was an error on part of the concerned official to serve them notice, the agitators pointed out that they have been legally residing on genuine homestead land, and demanded immediate issuance of land record deeds in their favour.
They were agitating under the banner of ‘Vyas Nagar Jami Surakshya Committee’.
“The notice to the tenants by the settlement authorities is erroneous as we have purchased the land legally and recorded the said land on the basis of the Odisha Land Reforms Act. The government has been collecting rent from us on the land for the last 30-40 years. Besides, record right of (ROR) of the occupied land also has been reflected in the tenant registrar of the local Tehsil,” said Mr Jitendra Rout of Kanheipur.
As per the recent notification, about 5000 dwellers of Rampas, Chorada, Mundamala and Umapada villages have been residing on forest lands and it asked them to show their respective land records in the settlement office in Cuttack if they claim their lands to be homestead lands. The four villages measure about 750 acres.
Secretary of the committee Narayan Chandra Pati said they are the legal tenants of the land having vested patta of it.
“The settlement department has illegally converted our land to forest land and recorded it as anabadi without verifying the record. Hence we are protesting against illegal recording of settlement from stitiban land to jangal kisam(forest status),” said Mr Pati.
When contacted, ADM Bharat Chandra Behewra said, “A technical committee will be formed to look into the matter. The committee will scrutiny the records properly and after ascertains of the real tenants, land records will be issued”.