Loh-Langar land row: Residents feel cheated, anxious about future : The Tribune India

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Loh-Langar land row: Residents feel cheated, anxious about future

Poor people targeted; victims allege Municipal Corporation officials failed to stop suspects from selling plots to them five years ago

Loh-Langar land row: Residents feel cheated, anxious about future

At New Mandeep Colony, a board displays an order prohibiting the purchase and sale of any Loh-Langar land, as per court orders. Inderjeet Verma



Tribune News Service

Harshraj Singh

Ludhiana, April 15

Residents of New Mandeep Colony in Lohara found themselves in a distressing situation, feeling deceived, as plots they purchased were part of the land belonging to Loh- Langar, where sale and purchase were prohibited. They alleged that the plots were ‘fraudulently’ sold to them by certain property dealers and politicians, leaving them now anxious about their future. Many of the victims are financially weaker migrants hailing from other states.

Many of victims are migrants

The victims alleged that the plots were ‘fraudulently’ sold to them by certain property dealers and politicians. Many of the victims are financially weaker migrants hailing from other states.

Following their complaints, 14 individuals have already been booked for allegedly orchestrating the illicit sale of plots in New Mandeep Colony, developed in an unauthorised manner across 16 acres of Loh Langar land.

The residents alleged that neither the Municipal Corporation nor the administration officials had taken timely action to stop the suspects from selling plots on the land in 2019. The officials only acted to issue a warning after 150-200 houses were constructed on the land. They claimed that a board displaying an order prohibiting the purchase and sale of any Loh Langar land, according to court orders, was displayed in May 2023.

On Monday, a group of residents at New Mandeep Colony said had they been informed timely about the true status of the land belonging to Loh Langar/mahants, they would not have spent their life savings to purchase plots in the colony.

They alleged that Avtar Singh, Nirmal Singh SS (who is the father-in-law of a former councillor) and Mandeep Jindal were the key individuals who sold them plots. They said Avtar and Nirmal were among the 14 suspects listed in the FIR. However, the residents also alleged that they mentioned Mandeep Jindal in the complaint but his name was not included in the FIR by the police. They demanded justice from the government.

Expressing anguish, a 58-year-old man said: “Most of the houses belong to poor people and many of them come from other states. After the previous Municipal Corporation elections, the process of selling plots on the land began. But no MC or administration officials intervened to stopped the suspects from selling plots five years ago.”

He said: “The plots were sold to them in instalments by property dealers and politicians without disclosing the truth that the land belongs to Loh Langar/mahants. Plot registries were issued to a number of buyers. I have spent all my life savings to construct my house here. When a complaint was made by somebody to the government, a board was displayed at the colony, stating that the land belongs to Loh Langar and cannot be purchased or sold as per court orders. Where should we go now? We have been cheated. We want justice,” he said.

Those booked in the case so far include Iqbal Singh, Avtar Singh, Nirmal Singh SS, Guljinder Singh, Gurnam Singh, Daljit Singh Jhajj, Jasminder Singh, Jasvir Singh, Simranjit Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Kuljeet Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Parveen Kumar Gupta and Varinder Kumar Ohri. Residents also demanded to register FIRs against the other suspects.

An RTI activist, Rashpal Singh, said he had also complained to the Vigilance Bureau against the illegal sale and purchase of the plots in the colony illegally developed on the Loh Langar land. He also raised questions over the role of the then MC officials for not stopping the suspects from selling plots to the victims in the past. He alleged that the miscreants were influential persons and they targeted poor people for selling the plots.

MC chief Sandeep Rishi said an inquiry in the matter was also being conducted by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Department of Local Bodies.

Meanwhile, a police official had earlier stated that the probe was on in the case.

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