BHUBANESWAR: The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch arrested managing director of Sarala Realcon Gayadhar Jena from his office at Laxmisagar here for allegedly duping buyers of around Rs 50 crore.
On June 24, 2013, Saheed Nagar police had arrested Jena on similar charges. "We received some complaints against him," said an EOW officer.
In the past eight months, the commissionerate of police and EOW have arrested 20 people in connection with fraudulent land deals. In 2013, two murders and group clashes were reported in the city over land disputes.
On August 12, 2013, a builder was killed at Nayapalli and another at Daruthenga under Chandaka police limits on August 8, 2013. On March 17, 2011, villagers of Andharua ransacked Chandaka police station and pelted policemen with stones over poor investigation into the alleged murder of a land dealer, Manas Mahapatra, who was found dead on March 12, 2011. The then city DCP Himanshu Lal was injured in the incident.
Police sources said there is no mechanism in place to regulate functioning of the builders. Five year ago the commissionerate of police announced to open a dedicated cell to address grievances related to land disputes about five years ago, but it is still a non-starter.
The matter is awaiting the government's nod, the sources added.
The role of police has also come under the scanner as complainants are discouraged to lodge complaints and instead told to fight the cases in courts. "Police argue that they are overburdened with other cases and have no time to deal with land disputes," said Kailas Chandra Mohanty, a duped land buyer.
Real estate experts attributed the scams and other land-related crimes to spiraling prices of plots.