Minister pressed govt to return another 11.3-acre portion to RSS man’s kin


BM, 20-11-2012 06:05:10


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While FIR cites his ‘help’ in getting 4.2 acres denotified…

In a letter to the state government, minister had called the three-decade-old acquisition illegal and recommended the return of another 11.3 acres at an alternative site. Suresh Kumar says he was merely a ‘postman’ in the case

The denotification controversy, in which law and urban development minister Suresh Kumar is charged with helping the kin of a former legislator get back a portion of land notified by the government decades ago, has deepened with documents indicating that the minister had urged the government to return another portion of the land.

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The minister, who allegedly helped the family members of an RSS functionary (from whom the government had acquired 16.1 acres of land 31 years ago for the purpose of slum development) in getting back 4.2 acres, had sent a letter (dated July 14, 2010) to the government recommending the return of another 11.3 acres at an alternative site. Subsequently, the BJP government issued an order on September 3, 2010, allotting the land at two different places in the city. Bangalore Mirror has accessed copies of the minister’s letter and the government order.


 
Suresh Kumar has come under the scanner after the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) filed an FIR on Saturday based on a complaint by RTI activist Dinesh Kallahalli. The complaint has accused the minister of having helped K Gopinath, the brother of RSS functionary K Narahari, in getting 4.2 acres of land denotified.
 
A source in the know said, “It is not just 4.2 acres, the minister’s intervention also helped the RSS functionary’s family get another 11.3 acres.” Narrating the sequence of events, they said, “In 1981, the then special deputy commissioner (land) described 16.1 acres on survey 9/2 at Laggere village near Yeshwanthpur as excess land possessed by the family and acquired it. On September 25, 1982, the land was given to the Karnataka Slum Clearance Board (KSCB) for construction of dwelling units. This came with a rider that the land should be handed over to the original owner if the purpose for which it was acquired was not achieved within two years. Twenty years later, the family filed a writ petition (51741/2003) in the court demanding the return of the land. When the BJP came to power in 2008, the RSS functionary’s family made representations to the government on November 24, 2008, December 17, 2008 and March 16, 2009, seeking the return of the land. However, the officials maintained that KSCB had constructed apartments on three acres and had distributed 8.3 acres as private sites; the unused portion was just 4.2 acres. Following Suresh Kumar’s intervention, the government denotified 4.2 acres at Laggere village on June 17, 2009 with a rider that the beneficiary (Gopinath) would not make any other claim in this regard.”
 
However, Suresh Kumar wrote a letter on July 14, 2010 to then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, calling the government’s decision to acquire 16.10 acres of agricultural land from Gopinath “illegal” and pointing out that no compensation had been paid to the family. “Apart from the 4.2 acres (which has been denotified), the government should return 11.3 acres at an alternative place. Please give a direction to the concerned authorities to take necessary action,” Kumar had said in his letter. Subsequently, the urban development department issued an order on September 3, 2010 allotting 11.3 acres at two places: 8.2 acres at survey number 21 at Hosahalli village near Jala, and 3.1 acres at survey number 46 at Doddajala.
 
“Though the land comes under the revenue department, the allotment order was issued by the urban development department which is headed by Kumar himself,” the sources said.
 
In response to Bangalore Mirror’s queries, the minister said, “I acted like a postman in the case. I have not influenced anyone in the government by writing a letter to them to allot the land. In my letter, I have just made a requisition to the concerned authorities to look into it. I usually write to the authority concerned when people ask me for help. In this case too, I have done the same and I don’t have any personal interest here. The RSS angle does not come into this case. The family against whom allegations have been made have worked for society and are not people to use the land for a commercial purpose.”
 
When asked why Narahari and Gopinath waited till the BJP government came to power to reclaim their land, Kumar said, “They were trying for a long time and and had gone to different chief ministers, but now it has happened and we don’t have any personal interest in the case. Let the authorities investigate the case; I have not done anything wrong.”
 
Narahari denied the allegations of favouritism. “It is not our mistake and neither has Suresh Kumar done anything wrong. The previous governments had acquired our agricultural land illegally. We fought in court and got the order to get back the land. It is our land and we want it back.”

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