Himachal BJP MP under land deal lens

Shimla, Oct 3 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh vigilance and anti-corruption bureau Thursday registered a first information report (FIR) in a land deal allegedly involving Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur.

Police officials said though Thakur's name doesn't figure in the FIR registered in the 2008 land deal, investigations are on.

"Initial investigation into the purchase of 'nautor' land located on the outskirts of Dharamsala points to the involvement of Anurag and his brother Arun Dhumal," said an investigating officer.

"Nautor Land" means the right to utilize, with the sanction of the competent authority waste land owned by the Government outside the towns, outside the reserved and demarcated protected forests, and outside such other areas as may be notified from time to time by the state government.

The system of allotting the government-owned "nautor" land to people was initially introduced in the state in 1968 but subsequently a ban was imposed but lifted time and again.

Confirming this development, police official Bimal Gupta told IANS that a first information report (FIR) under sections 420, 188 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and section 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act was registered.

"We will reach out to individuals during the course of investigation," he said.

Gupta said the revenue officials responsible for facilitating the land deal would also be booked.

Official sources said 32 'marla' land in Dharamsala, some 250 km from the state capital, was allotted to one landless Premu on compassionate grounds in 1992.

"The land couldn't be transferred further for 20 years. But it was sold and even transferred in the name of Anurag in 2008 even before the lock-in period expired," said an official.

Anurag is the son of former state chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

"When the land was transferred, Dhumal was the chief minister," said the official.

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