Jharkhand Land Scam: ED attaches assets worth Rs 236 crore

Jharkhand Land Scam: ED attaches assets worth Rs 236 crore


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 1 September attached three plots totalling over Rs 161.64 crore in Ranchi as part of an ongoing money laundering probe linked to a case of “land grabbing and fraud” in Jharkhand. These land parcels were fraudulently altered to the advantage of land mafias with the help of Land Revenue Department personnel.

This is the second attachment directed in this investigation and with the most recent action, the total value of the assets that have been attached has come to a staggering Rs 236 crore. The connected land tracts are situated in Ranchi at Siram, Pugru, and Cheshire Home Road.

In the meantime, the agency added another charge of prosecution in the land fraud case against former Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Ranchi Chhavi Ranjan, businessman Bishnu Agarwal and others. A prosecution complaint had previously been lodged in this instance on 12 June.

According to an official statement, the ED had opened a probe into three cases of land fraud based on numerous First Information Reports filed by the Jharkhand Police and the West Bengal Police against Pradip Bagchi, Bishnu Kumar Agarwal, Bhanu Pratap Prasad as well as others under various Indian Penal Code sections.

A massive mafia racket aimed at transferring land ownership illegally is underway in Jharkhand, based on the inquiry. The government notification stated that “these criminal elements used to forge the legacy records in Ranchi and Kolkata.” Additionally, it was discovered that dishonest government employees had fabricated land ownership records in order to curry favour with the aforementioned land mafia.

The press release mentioned that the land lots were sold to other people based on falsified land records. It was also noted that the law enforcement agency had previously conducted 41 searches and 5 surveys in the case and had seized a variety of incriminating evidence, including forged Land Revenue Department seals, forged land deeds, records of the distribution of Proceeds of Crime, photographs of forgery, and evidence of paying bribes to government officials.

It had already placed three land parcels in the amount of Rs. 74.39 Crore (Commercial Value) under provisional attachment earlier. The total attachment in instances involving land scams now stands at Rs 236 Crore.

Notably, 14 perpetrators, Pradip Bagchi, Afshar Ali, Saddaam Hussain, Imtiaz Ahmed, Talha Khan, Faiyaaz Khan, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, Chhavi Ranjan, IAS (Ex DC Ranchi), Dilip Kumar Ghosh, Amit Kumar Agarwal, Bishnu Kumar Agarwal, Rajesh Rai, Bharat Prasad and Prem Prakash have been apprehended so far and are presently in Judicial custody.

On 12 June 2023, a Prosecution Complaint was first lodged and further inquiry is now being conducted.


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