GAYA: Ongoing investigation in the multi crore land scandal in which members of the disadvantaged sections (read Mahadalits) were allegedly duped and subsequently deprived of prime land allotted to them by the government. for their livelihood.
Though the full magnitude of the scandal has yet to unfold, informed sources put the Official land price involved the scam at more than Rs 600 crores. Sources also do not rule out the use of black money, FERA violations and money laundering as K Navani, the main accused of the case is a Karachi (Pakistan) born Thai national.
Navani was present in Bodh Gaya when the case was instituted about six weeks back, the alleged scamster managed to escape out of the country, leaving the investigators high and dry. Though Navani's involvement is believed to be only in one part of the mega scam, his sudden disappearance has given the much needed alibi to other influential scamsters to buy time and prepare the salvage strategy.
Navani, as per the FIR lodged in the Bodh Gaya police station, tricked innocent Mahadalits into selling the ceiling land allotted by the government at through away prices. The land was non saleable in the first place as the allotment letter clearly mentioned the condition that the beneficiaries were being given the land only for livelihood and they did not have the power to sell or lease out the land.
In case of violation of the allotment condition the government has the power to take back the land. In the early eighties, the government distributed bout 175 acres of the ceiling land earlier surrendered by the Bodh Gaya Mahanth. In the years to come property prices in the Mahabodhi shrine vicinity registered astronomical hike. Almost all the land is located near the main shrine, the seat of Buddha's enlightenment. Though the official price of the land, as per, registration Deptt records was about Rs four crore per acre, the market price is said to be about four times more than the official price. If the market price of the land were to be taken into account, it is estimated to be on the higher side of Rs 2000 crores.
Earlier, during his presence in Bodh Gaya at the time of the institution of the case, the police did not arrest Navani, as, according to police officials, certain procedure was to be followed in respect of the arrest of foreign nationals and now that Nawani has flown out, the police feel outwitted.
Asked about, the progress of investigation, case IO and Bodh Gaya SHO, Naresh Kumar said that the disappearance of the main accused K Navani has adversely affected the pace of the investigation. Saryu Rai, a key suspect of the case too is absconding, said the Investigating Officer.