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Goa CM forms SIT to probe land grabbing cases

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Panaji, June 15 (Ajit Weekly News) Amid an ongoing running feud between Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane and Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo, over alleged land grabbing and conversion of large tracts of land for commercial use, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday announced the formation of a Special Investigation Team to probe all illegal land conversions in the state.

Sawant in a statement on Wednesday said that the SIT, which is headed by Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Nidhin Valsan would also entertain complaints from the people in connection with illegal land grabbing and conversion cases.

“Goa being one of the most sought after destinations has been the target of such criminals involved in illegal land grabbing. We will leave no stone unturned to protect the land of Goa and the interest of Goans. We have come across some cases of such illegal land transfers, hence we have constituted the team to take swift action in such matters,” the Chief Minister said.

“I appeal to the people to come forward and approach the SIT to report on illegal land grabbing/transfer cases,” he further said.

The SIT headed by Valsan includes six other officials from the Revenue, Archaeology and the office of the state Registrar.

The development comes in wake of a series of accusations levelled by Town and Country Planning Minister Vishwajit Rane against the Leader of Opposition Vishwajit Rane, over allegedly illegal land conversion.

A First Information Report has also been filed against Lobo at the Mapusa police station in connection with one such instance in Parra village in North Goa.

Lobo has claimed that he was developing the tract of land for farming purposes, while denying any illegality. Lobo as well as the Congress party has accused Rane of trying to specifically target the opposition leader of the state for political end.

–Ajit Weekly News

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