A Durgapur promoter known to be close to a Trinamool Panchayat samiti candidate has been accused of trying to occupy a plot owned by a Damodar Valey Corporation employee. The recent spurt in property price in Durgapur and its surrounding is seeing a rise in cases of land grabbing using political and muscle power.
Lachmi Mallick, 53, who had purchased around 18 cottahs at Shankarpur mouza in 2007, has lodged a complaint at New Township police station accusing promoter Samir Chatterjee of threatening him with dire consequences if he doesn’t sell his land at a throw away price.
Mallick said he had approached local Trinamool leader, Swadhin Ghosh regarding the matter. However, Ghosh, a candidate for the Durgapur-Faridpur panchayat samiti, allegedly told Mallick to “settle” the matter with the promoter.
Sources said Trinamool leader, Swadhin Ghosh is close to promoter Samir Chatterjee and the duo was planning to start a housing project in partnership in Shankarpur where Mallick has his plot.
Trinamool leader Ghosh however, denied the charge of his association with the promoter, saying he was busy campaigning for the panchayat election. One may recall that the same Trinamool leader, Swadhin Ghosh has been named by CPM in a complaint to the Durgapur SDO Kasturi Sengupta, for his involvement in an attack on 31st May on three CPM candidates for the forthcoming panchayat election.
According to land records, Mallick purchased the plot (LR No. 1123) from one Proloy Chakraborty in 2007 at Rs 3 lakhs. He cordoned it off with cement pillars and even put up a signboard declaring the plot belongs to him.
Mallick said when he visited the plot in 2010 he found the signboard replaced by another mentioning the plot belong to the company owned by Chatterjee. The DVC employee said when he showed relevant documents to the promoter, he threw them on Mallick’s face and threatened to kill him. “He told me it would be advisable if I sold him the plot at a throwaway price.”
Mallick said he had been frequenting the offices of Chatterjee and the land department for the past three years. He alleged that several attempts to complain to the police about Chatterjee had been futile. Mallick said in 2010, he even wrote to then minister of land and land reform Abdur Rezzak Mollah.
Durgapur residents said Chatterjee was known to be close to Ghosh. “Chatterjee used to hobnob with the CPM earlier. But after the change of power, he is now close to Trinamool’s Swadhin Ghosh. He is often seen with him,” said human rights activist Sudhajit Mukherjee.
Promoter Samir Chatterjee claimed the plot belong to him. “We own huge plots in Shankarpur mouza. The plot that Mullick is claiming had been purchased by me in 2003. I will set up a housing project on it with my business partner. I have the documents,” he said.