Action on land allotted to a trust owned by social activist Prashant Bhushan
After cancellation of the lease deed of land allotted to Patanjali Trust of Yog Guru Ramdev, now the State Government is ready to take action on land allotted to a trust owned by social activist Prashant Bhushan in Kangra district. The 4.68 hectares of land was purchased by Kumud Bhushan Education Society through its secretary Prashant Bhushan in Kandwari village, 10 km from Palampur, in Kangra district.
According to sources, all records related to land allotment have been reviewed and a detailed report has already been submitted to the government by revenue officials. A detailed discussion was also held on the issue in Tuesday’s cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Virbhadra Singh. The government may shortly order officials to take action in this case too, sources added. It is being alleged that the previous BJP regime some three years back accorded sanction to Kumud Bhushan Educational Society to buy 4.68 hectares of land for construction of an educational institution on February 2, 2010 in Kandwari area of Kangra district in violation of norms.
The Kumud Bhushan Education Society through Prashant Bhushan had purchased a 4.68-hectare tea garden on March 3, 2010, from a local resident, Narinder Jamwal. Locals said no tea was grown on the land for the last 30 years and it was an abandoned tea garden, which was being used as a pasture land by villagers.
Jamwal said he had followed proper rules and procedures laid down by the government and the sale deed was registered after getting the necessary permission.
Meanwhile, reports said there were a number of cases where land under tea cultivation was sold in Kangra and Mandi districts. Bhushan had purchased a small holding of land and was utilising the same for genuine purposes. However, in a number of other cases, where the government had granted permission to outsiders to buy tea gardens, they had changed land use and sold the same in gross violation of rules.
However, Kandwari residents were upset over the move of the state government. They alleged that the society had become a victim of politics. They said the state government should not single out the case of the society, which had launched programmes for the welfare of the locals. The society had given employment to 100 persons and if the sale deed was cancelled, they would be rendered jobless.