A dozen cops were injured and two bikes were burnt during an anti-encroachment drive on Saturday morning in Digha area of Patna. The drive was conducted by Patna district administration in association with Patna Police to hand over a total of six acres of land belonging to Bihar State Housing Board (BSHB). The land was acquired to set up offices of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
According to Kumar Ravi, Patna District Magistrate, violent protests by a group of local residents erupted and they started pelting stones at the police and officials of the local administration. The protesters also blocked roads and the police had to fire tear gas to disperse them. Six of the protesters were arrested, and encroachment from the six-acre land was removed.
He also added- Possession of only six acres of land had to be done and nothing beyond that. Barricading of those plots was done. People should avoid rumors. Keeping the sensitivity of the matter and clash on the same issue in past, around 200 cops were deployed on duty and schools in the neighborhood remained closed.
DSP Rakesh Kumar said around 150 miscreants started pelting stones around 10 am, adding half a dozen of them had been detained.
Of total six acres, 2.5 acres had been allotted to Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for construction its regional headquarters building, 2.5 acres to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for construction its Bihar-Jharkhand regional office and one acre to Rajiv Nagar police station. CBSE regional officer Jagdish Singh Burman who was present at the spot said, “We had deposited the premium to BSHB in July 2017 and today we have taken over the procession.”
The state government had acquired plots across Ashiana-Digha Road near the existing Rajiv Nagar police station from farmers way back in 1974 at the rate of around Rs 2,200 per Kattha. Bihar State Housing Board (BSHB) had deposited Rs 17.42 crore to the district collector of Patna towards the acquisition of land.
However, of 1024.52 acres of land, which was to be developed by the BSHB, around 600 acres were on the eastern flank and 424.52 acres on the western flank of Ashiana-Digha Road. The problem started when 600 acres of eastern flank was sold by owners or farmers to other parties making it quite impossible for the board to execute the project. This also created a mess over ownership of the land between the original landowners, allotees and occupants.
The state government came up with the Digha Land Acquisition Settlement Act in 2012 and the Digha Land Acquisition Settlement Rules and Scheme in 2014 but only a section of local people continue to abide by such policies.