The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday razed to the ground the alleged illegal construction on a piece of land registered in the name of Kamla Nehru Trust in Raebareli. The property said to be worth crores is located on Lucknow-Prayagraj NH-30. The matter of the land first went to the High Court after the Trust reportedly sold the land to a BJP leader. The transfer of land was disputed. The High Court decided in favour of district administration and declared it as Nazul land. A Nazul land is basically a land that has no claimants and it is considered to be belonging to government.
According to reports, both the High Court and the Supreme Court had passed eviction orders months ago. After the court orders, the district administration served notice to people encroaching the land and then their electricity supply was cut off but the people did not comply. Finally, the district administration started demolishing all the illegal construction on the land early morning on Wednesday. Some people pelted stones at the police after which police resorted to lathi charge but the demolition continued. Few arrests were also made.
The Kamala Nehru Trust and how it occupied the land
The Kamla Nehru Trust was created forty years ago with the objective of creating an educational society, schools and hospitals. The Kamla Nehru Educational Society was established in 1976 in the Civil Lines area of Raebareli at an annual rent of Rs 1135 from one Kailash Chandra from Sidhauli. The society reportedly took the land on lease for 30 years for the purpose of promoting education for girls. However, nothing was implemented on ground, no construction took place and the land came to be illegally occupied by hundreds of people.
Eight members of the society have passed away including former Delhi CM Sheila Dixit’s father-in-law Umashankar Dixit, former PM Indira Gandhi’s personal assistant Yashpal Kapoor, and former minister Sheila Kaul whose house in Lucknow was recently renovated to accommodate Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. A new committee was reportedly formed in 2003 which included members of Kaul family, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid and senior lawyer Lalit Bhasin. The society converted the land into a freehold property in 2003 and decided to sell it in 2016. For six months, the district administration has been attempting to get the property vacated as per the court orders but the people refused to vacate.
BJP leader Aditi Singh raised the alarm
Last month, BJP leader, who is also former Congress MLA, from Raebareli Aditi Singh had written to the Economic Officer Wing (EOW) demanding an investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the Kamla Nehru Educational Society. Singh had alleged that the society did not serve the purpose it was constituted for. She added that the land should not have been converted into freehold land as there were more than 100 shops that provided daily bread to about 600 people.
In November 2020, Yogi government ordered probe into the allegations of fraud against Kamla Nehru Trust.