Telkoi: A controversy broke out over a Madrasa that was allegedly set up on a patch of forest land in Khuntapada panchayat under Telkoi tehsil in Keonjhar. Local sarpanch and Zilla Progressive Citizens, a local outfit, have strongly opposed it. They have taken up the issue with the Collector and the tehsildar.
In the complaint, it was stated that Khuntapada panchayat has a patch of forest land of 9.28 acres.Many people have encroached upon the land and even built up houses after paying fine to tehsil authorities. Five Muslim families, particularly from Bangladesh have been living on the land. They have set up a madrasa. Significantly, population of Bangladeshis in the area is over 2000.
They alleged that the school has been set up in the full knowledge of tehsil authorities. Such land grabbing has come to the fore when the administration failed to find a patch of land for the Telkoi civil court.
Sarpanch Ganga Dehuri and president of Progressive Citizens Akshay Kumar Pradhan and secretary Dhruba Charan Patra have suggested that the administration should consider making use of this forest land for the civil court building.
The tehsil authorities said plot-1031 belongs to forest category. Tehsildar Akshay Kumar Nayak admitted that some people including those of a minority community have set up a building.
“After receiving complaints, the revenue inspector has been asked to take steps for removal of encroachments from the land,” said the tehsildar.