Puri: Land property worth Rs 10 crore at Mahua Mouza in Bhubaneswar belonging to Gopinath Dev of Sakhigopal Temple in Puri district have been fraudulently grabbed and sold off.
The 453 decimals land, recorded in the name of marfatdars (caretakers) of the deity, has been sold off without the knowledge of the Satyabadi Gopinath Dev Trust and the Endowment Commission.
After the fraud came to light, a case was registered with the Endowment Commission under Section 25 of the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act. The complainant requested the Commission to pass necessary direction to Khurda collector to reclaim the land and hand it over to the temple authorities.
Acting on the complaint, Endowment Commissioner Biraja Prasad Datta said he would soon issue notices to both parties in this regard.
Sources said the land was sold off by some persons who claimed to be the marfatdars (caretakers) of Lord Gopinath Dev. As per the government guidelines, permission of the Endowment Commission should be taken under Section 19 to sell the land. However, the guidelines were allegedly ignored during the dealing of the land.
Sources said the land fraud came to light after a Bhubaneswar resident had written a letter to the temple Trust Board. The complainant alleged that hundreds of buildings and apartments were illegally constructed on the Lord’s land. That apart, the land owned by Gopinath Dev in Kashipur and Patharagadia Mouzas was also transferred illegally, the complainant alleged.
Acting on the complaint, the temple Trust Board had lodged a complaint with the Endowment Commission. The Trust Board made Bhubaneswar tehsildar, sub-registrar, the sellers of the land and the buyers as parties to the case.
According to sources, hundreds of acres of land in different tehsils of Khurda district belong to Gopinath Dev. However, the temple Trust Board as well as Endowment Commission are ignorant about the present status of the properties. Recently, the Commission in its probe report had mentioned that the status of 300 acres of land in Khurda teshil is uncertain.
Moreover, a case under the Odisha Survey and Settlement Act pertaining to one acre and 65 decimals of land of the lord in Mahura Mouza in Bhubaneswar is pending with the Board of Revenue. Similarly, another case regarding four acres and 99 decimals of land in Kusumati Mouza of Jatni teshil also sub judice.
Another case involving 13 acres and 80 decimals of land in Bhajagarh Mouza of Tangi tehsil is also caught in litigation muddle. Similarly, another case of one acre and five decimals of land in Mahura Mouza of Bhubaneswar is pending with the Board of Revenue.