CPM for CBI probe into Shimla suburb fake land deals

Shimla : The Communist Party of India(Marxist) on Wednesday demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged benami land deals at Mohal village near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh which involves a land value of Rs 800 crore.

“The market value of the land at Mohal is nearly Rs 800 crore but this been sold for just Rs 45 crore.This shows the large evasion of tax that has been swindled out,” said Tikender Panwar, a senior leader of the CPM state unit here.

“The deals involve 1000 bighas of land owned by various people and are in gross violation of the land reform and tenancy act,” Panwar said.

“The actual payment in lieu of the land was made to the people at Rs 450,000(4.5 lakh) per bigha.The payments were not made by one on whose name the general power of attorneys were made,but instead by a corporate group from Punjab who is already under a scanner for various illegal deals in the state,” Panwar said.

The CPM has pointed out that if the state government is so keen to acquire the Bantony building in Shimla which covers 8 bighas.The land at Mohal involves 1000 bighas so this should also be transferred to the state.

The party has asked the ministry of urban development to initiate efforts to acquire this land and develop a 25,000 housing project here and ease the housing situation in Shimla.

The CPM has criticised the state vigilance department for being in deep slumber even though these land deals were taking place at a stone throwing distance.

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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