SHILLONG, April 01: NGOs in state on Monday asked the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of East Khasi Hills (EKH) district to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against those officials involved in cheating the government to acquire land for the proposed setting up of the New Shillong Township through alleged incomplete, forged and manipulated documents.
In a letter to the DC here, the three NGOs – CSWO, KSU and FKJGP said, “We demand that an FIR should immediately be filed against those involved in making the government pay for land acquisition through incomplete and manipulated land documents.”
Earlier, addressing a press conference, the leaders of the three NGOs said, “We fail to understand why incomplete documents were entertained and why the government (office of the Deputy Commissioner) has paid out of public money, Rs 4.50 crores for the land in 2003.”
According to CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing, as per RTI, the government has acquired land from Unikey Kharkongor and Nearly Kharkongor in 2003 and 2007 of which the documents provided by them to the office of the Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) were found incomplete. The land that they have claimed as theirs is identified as village Mawier, which is hardly 600 acres.
“However, the two land owners have in their Deed of Declaration have declared they own over 2,372 acres of land in Mawier,” she said while arguing if such is the case, an area of 2,372 acres will definitely cover many villages and the affected will definitely fight for their rights.
The NGOs also alleged that there were no surveys conducted on the lands bought by the government for the setting up of the proposed new Shillong Township.
Alleging that the land documents of Unikey and Nearly were forged and incomplete, Kharshiing said, “The Non Judicial Stamp paper was purchased on the June 5, 1992, while the Deed of Declaration was signed on the June 4, 1992 which was identified and witnessed by a lawyer, SP Mahanta and signed by a First Class Judicial Magistrate,” adding “It cannot be that a declaration was made and papers verified before the purchase of the stamp paper.”
Last year, the government evicted four houses at Mawier under Mawlong Dorbar Shnong following its purchase of the land. “The government officials just came and evicted the houses without giving any prior information or the reason behind the drive,” Mawlong headman who accompanied the NGOs during the press briefing told reporters.
It is learnt that more villages such as Umsawli, Mawtari, and other neighboring villages of Mawlong would be affected from this land acquisition due to encroachment by the two land owners.
“People in and around the area of Mawlong village are living in fear, scared that the government may evict them at anytime,” Kharshiing added.
In view of this, she demanded the DC should file an complaint as to how government funds have been paid for alleged incomplete and forged, manipulated documents and who were the one who are responsible in the whole process as innocent villagers are illegally being evicted continuously based on these land documents adding “the authority should also take action against Unikey and Nearly for providing forged legal documents undermining the law.”
Meanwhile, the NGOs also said that they would urge the High Court to take up a suo-motu case on the matter.
“We request the High Court to take up a suo-motu case and ask the CBI to investigate into entire matter,” they said adding “We urge that those responsible for cheating the government and its people be booked as per law.”