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Sub registrar’s office under scanner as police nab land grabbers
RITURAJ BORTHAKUR
 GUWAHATI, June 23 - In what points at a thriving land racket in the city in connivance with government officials, police have arrested two persons, including a notorious criminal, who made a fake power of attorney at the sub registrar’s office and sold off a plot of land belonging to an old lady in the Bonda area.

This is not the first time that the sub registrar’s office has come under scanner. City police had on earlier occasions caught frauds who had made fake land deeds at the office for land grabbing.

Investigations into an FIR lodged by the victim Purnima Sarma (78), have led to arrest of two persons identified as Kongkon Deka and Mansoor Ali. Ali is a noted criminal who was out on bail. He has been allegedly involved in several crimes, including land grabbing in the past.

“Purnima Sarma had complained that some unknown persons had settled on her 2-bigha plot of land at Bonda. But when we interrogated the settlers they produced the land papers which showed they had purchased the land from another person,” ACP (Noonmati) Purabi Mazumdar told The Assam Tribune.

Further investigations into the case revealed that a fake power of attorney was made in the name of Kongkon Deka. Deka then ‘sold’ the land to Ali who in turn, ‘sold it off’ to the settlers. The power of attorney dates back to 2008. The complainant, however, insisted that she never gave a power of attorney regarding the plot to anyone.

“For the last one month or so we had launched a massive manhunt to track down Kongkon Deka (48). We could finally trap him and nab him at Rajgarh. Ali was caught from Silpukhuri area,” Mazumdar said.

Police now wonder as to how a power of attorney can be made without the presence of Purnima Sarma at the sub registrar’s office. The photo in the power of attorney was also that of a different lady.

According to the FIR, there are three “encroacher families” on the plot. Apparently, Mansoor Ali had sold the plot to them seven to eight years back. Sources said one of the families had purchased the plot for Rs 5 lakh, but police are verifying the claims.

“The role of the lawyer and officials at the registrar’s office is also doubtful. Unless there is connivance, such forged documents cannot be made,” a police official said.

The two arrested men were today taken into five days’ police remand. More arrests are likely in the case. They have been booked under sections 120 (b), 420 and 468 of IPC.

There are over two hundred land grabbing cases pending in the city. And most of the cases are identical when it comes to the modus operandi.

“We have hundreds of complaints regarding land grabbing in the city. But in most cases we have seen that the settlers have land documents, pointing at a thriving nexus at the sub registrar’s office. Are these documents not verified before being registered?” a city police official wondered.

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