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CBI probes into Gurgaon land acquisition case, files FIR

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New Delhi: The CBI started a probe on Thursday into the alleged irregularity in the purchase of 400 acres land from Gurgaon farmers during 2004-2007 at throw away prices causing them a loss of over Rs 1,500 crore.

On the request of the Haryana government and directions of the central government, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against unknown public servants of the Haryana government and some private people.

CBI sources said that the unknown accused have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as under charges of cheating, forgery, using a forged document as genuine and criminal conspiracy.

A CBI statement said that the agency took over the investigation from Manesar police station in Gurgaon that had already registered a first information report (FIR) against some public servants in Haryana and some private people.

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“It is alleged that some private builders in conspiracy with Haryana government officials had purchased around 400 acres of land from the farmers of villages in Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula in Gurgaon at throw away prices between August 27, 2004 and August 24, 2007,” said a CBI official, adding that the farmers and land owners were threatened with acquisition of their land by the government if they did not sell.

According to the official, the Haryana government had initially issued a notification under the land acquisition act for land measuring about 912 acres for setting up an industrial model township at villages in Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula.

“After that, all the land had allegedly been grabbed from the land owners and farmers by the private builders under the threat of acquisition at meagre rates,” the official said.

“An order was also passed by the director of industries on August 24, 2007 releasing the land from the acquisition process but the land was released in violation of the government policy in favour of the builders, their companies and agents, instead of the original land owners,” the official said.

The land, whose market value at that time was above Rs 4 crore per acre, totaling to about Rs 1,600 crore, was allegedly purchased by the private builders from the land owners at only about Rs 100 crore.

“The farmers and land owners had to sustain a loss of Rs 1,500 crores,” the official said.

(IANS)

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Indian Farmers reason behind Smog in Pakistan

Smog in Pakistan has affected the health of people but also caused road accidents.

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Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan
Indian Farmers causing smog in Pakistan. wikimedia commons
  • Pakistani officials have said that stubble burning by Indian farmers has caused a thick blanket of smog in Punjab province which led to smog in Pakistan as well.

The officials with Environment Protection Department of Punjab province told Xinhua news agency on Saturday night that the smog is causing various diseases and the provincial government is taking measures to control the situation.

The department’s minister Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan said that the smog engulfed the province for the last two weeks, and is feared to continue for the coming week.

She added that the smoke from the Indian farms moved at a velocity of 7 to 8 km per hour towards Punjab province.

Also Read: Restrictions on Freedom of Expression: Pakistani Journalists Struggle with Growing Threats from Government and Militants alike

Local experts said that the total Air Quality Index in the provincial capital of Lahore is 357 whereas the maximum limit should be around 100, adding that if the situation was not controlled, the level is feared to exceed 500 soon.

Syed Mubashir Hussain, an official of the environment department said that the provincial government has banned stubble burning across the province and violators were being arrested.

A total of 197 First Information Reports have been filed against violators and 65 people have been arrested due to stubble burning and solid waste burning.

Some 175 pollution-causing units have been stopped. About 15,718 smoke emitting vehicles have been confiscated, and a total of 43 lakh Pakistani rupees (about $43,000) fine has been imposed, Hussain told Xinhua.

Apart from this, brick kilns using substandard fuel and running their units without emission control devices like wet scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators and fly ash arrestors have also been closed, he added.

Smog in Pakistan has not only affected the health of people but also caused road accidents. According to local media reports, at least 18 people have been killed and 45 others injured in separate fog-related accidents across the province.

Air traffic was also affected due to smog-caused low visibility. Six domestic flights from various airports have been suspended due to smog in Pakistan, spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines said in a statement.

The Met office said that smog will disappear after rains or heavy winds, but there was no possibility of any of it in the next 48 hours.( IANS)