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Jalpaiguri Directs Tea Estate to Take Action Against Union Minister for Encroachment

The district administration had sought the report from the block land and land revenue officer after receiving a complaint from the local Trinamool Congress unit alleging that the John Barla had been occupying the land illegally.

The district administration had sought the report from the block land and land revenue officer after receiving a complaint from the local Trinamool Congress unit alleging that the John Barla had been occupying the land illegally.

A report from the block land and land revenue officer found that John Barla, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, has illegally constructed a building occupying three cottahs of government land at Chamurchi More in Banarhat in the district.

The Jalpaiguri district administration of West Bengal has asked the Lakhipara tea estate management to initiate action against Union minister and Alipurduar MP John Barla for allegedly encroaching a leased land of the garden and building a house on it. The decision was taken by District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu after she received a report from the block land and land revenue officer stating that Barla, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, has illegally constructed a building occupying three cottahs of government land at Chamurchi More in Banarhat in the district.

"This land is not personal property but a leased-out land where no one can build any structure. I have asked the tea garden (authorities) to take immediate necessary action for the removal of the encroachment and bring it back as it was given to them after the signing of the lease agreement in 1995. I have written to them to take action as quickly as possible," Basu told PTI over the phone.

The district administration had sought the report from the block land and land revenue officer after receiving a complaint from the local Trinamool Congress unit alleging that the BJP MP from Alipurduar had been occupying the land illegally.

“The company in its letter to the district administration stated that it had not issued any permission to Barla to build a commercial building on the leased land of the garden," a source in the administration said.

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Incidentally, Barla who was an employee of the Lakhipara tea garden till 2018, had earlier got quarters provided by the garden authorities inside the estate.

Barla, when contacted, declined to say anything on this issue.

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first published:July 21, 2021, 18:57 IST