Christian missionary institution indulges in illegal land deals in Jharkhand in violation of CNT act; BJP demands probe and strict action
Christian missionary organizations are now using individuals to buy and sell tribal lands on their behalf thereby earning crores of profit. The land deals which in contravention of the CNT-SPT act, are all illegal and liable to punitive action. The BJP has demanded strict action be taken against both the organizations and individuals involved.
In utter disregard for the CNT-SPT act which is in effect in Jharkhand, an Italian missionary organization based in Rome has indulged in buying and selling of land in the state. The company has accrued crores of rupees from its land deals.Tribal lands have been brought at very low prices but have been sold at a high rates worth crores. It is alleged that the Italian Evangelical organization Brothers of St. Gabriel which is a subsidiary of Monfort, based in Rome, has indulged in illegal buying and selling of tribal lands. It has been reported
that the organization has earned 183 times the price of the land by selling it at a very high price.
The Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) act restricts the transfer(selling/buying) of tribal lands to non-tribals in Jharkhand region. As per the Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) act, land can be leased out or donated free of cost for residential purposes but commercial use of agriculture land by individual land-owners or businesses is not permitted. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State Spokesperson Pratul Shah Deo in a press conference in BJP state headquarters on 22nd July had informed the reporters of the illegal deals in violation of both the CNT-SPT acts and demanded an inquiry into the entire matter.
BJP State Spokesperson Pratul Shah Deo exposed the illegal land deals of missionary organisations in Jharkhand
Modus Operandi of the Missionary institution
The BJP spokesperson informed that the Christian missionary organization Brothers of St. Gabriel has misused the CNT-SPT law. He said that the 4.23 acres of land in Namkum tehsil in Ranchi district have been brought and sold illegally. As per the proofs available, he said that there are 7 plots bearing plot numbers 170, 171, 172,173,174, 176 and 177 of Khata No. 142 have been sold along with Khata no.3. He said that this land was first purchased by Brother Cyril Lakda in the year 2004-2005 for 2.6 lakh rupees. He has registered three different addresses in 3 different land records. It is also alleged that Brother Cyril Lakda deliberately gave 3 different addresses to secure permission from the authorities for the land deals. In one record he has mentioned his address as Namkum, but as Gumla in one record and Purulia road in another record. Shri Pratul Shah said that it was clear that Cyril did this to hoodwink the authorities in violation of the CNT act and also to escape the restrictions of the boundaries of the police station.
Shri Shah Deo told the reporters that in the year 2004-2005, Brother Ladka purchased the 4.23 acres of land for a sum of Rs. 2 lakh 60 thousand, and sold the same for Rs 4.76 crore in the year 2018. In 13 years, he earned a profit 183 times the price of the land. This sale is probably the biggest profit making deal from a land block in Jharkhand, said the BJP spokesperson.
Facade of social work falls apart
The BJP spokesman said while it seems that the land was bought by Brother Lakda in the individual capacity, the role of the missionary institution has been exposed while he executed the sale of the same land. As a Father, Brother and Sisters of the Church have no right to hold any personal property in the missionary institutions, registration of land in the name of Brother Cyril Lakda is in violation of the Church rules. So to circumvent this rule, the sale was executed through a NOC issued by the Brothers of St. Gabriel Education Society. This is again a illegal practice as per the CNT-SPT act.
Illegally acquired land which was in the name of Brother Cyril Lakda
Pratul Shah Deo said that Brothers of St. Gabriel Society is registered as an educational institution and its headquarters is in Rome. He said that the BJP has been raising the issue of illegal land deals for a long time but the missionary institution got away using the facade of social work. Apart from such land deals, the institution is also involved in many other illegal activities, he alleged. He further said that though the educational society had no right to purchase or sell the land, the way it was executed with abandon in this case indicates that Christian institutions are involved in such wrongful acts in a large scale.
BJP spokesman said that the land of the poor tribals was illegally brought by the missionary institution in the name of local Fathers and Brothers. Then, while selling, the missionary institutions become part of the deal and earn huge profits. There are dozens of similar examples in Jharkhand. The BJP will complain to the appropriate authorities and demand a thorough investigation into all such deals. The culprits who violated the CNT-SPT act must be punished, he demanded.
Land was sold with a NOC from the Brothers of St. Gabriel Society which earned 183 times profit