IAS Officer blows lid-off land scams in a letter to Haryana's Chief Secretary

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  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Haryana IAS officer blows lid off land scams in tell-all letter to Chief Secretary

    New Delhi: Amidst a furore over irregularities in land deals in Haryana, a senior IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, has written a tell-all letter to the state Chief Secretary detailing land scams in the state. The letter, accessed by CNN-IBN, demands that security be provided to the officer and his family to protect them from the people hit by the expose.

    In the letter, Khemka says that several hundred crores worth of plots of Panchayat land were transferred to real estate firms. The letter explains how prime plots near highways were sold off under the garb of consolidation. The panchayat lands were deliberately under-valued, the letter adds.

    The revelations by Khemka come amidst continuing furore over a land deal between realty giant DLF and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, exposed by activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal.

    Asking the Chief Secretary to look into land deals in specific areas across Haryana, Khemka urges him to put an end to frequent transfers of honest officers. Khemka mentions that he was transferred after he exposed several land scams. He asks the state government not to humiliate a sincere officer.
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Whistleblower IAS officer in Haryana shunted out after exposing dubious land deals

    Chandigarh: A senior IAS officer in Haryana, who exposed widespread irregularities in land deals, has been transferred out of his department in less than two months. Ashok Khemka, who was Director General, Consolidation of Holdings and Land Records, had highlighted how panchayat land in Gurgaon worth several hundred crores of rupees were transferred to private real estate companies. He has alleged that the Congress government in the state shunted him out as a "punishment" for acting as a whistleblower and exposing corruption within his department.

    "It is shocking to learn about my abrupt transfer...this is deliberate and malafide to punish me due to some vested elements in the political-bureaucratic hierarchy affected by the expose of the scams in consolidation of land holdings under the exercise of powers," Mr Khemka said, in a letter written to Chief Secretary PK Chaudhary.

    The senior IAS officer seems to be paying the price for standing up for farmers of seven villages in Gurgaon who are trying to get back 19 acres of panchayat land along the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway from private builders. Mr Khemka had, during his 50-day stint in the department, detected how bureaucrats had colluded with politicians to acquire prime plots near highways which were subsequently sold at grossly undervalued rates to realtors. He submitted an affidavit in court that two of his predecessors had side-stepped norms to benefit builders in 2008-09.

    "The land was sold by senior officers...they sold it to builders or someone else...God only knows...but we request the government to return our land to the panchayat," said Khushi Ram, a farmer from the Ullawas village in Gurgaon.

    But this isn't the first time that Mr Khemka has been transferred. In July, the bureaucrat had been moved out of the Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation (HARTRON) when he drew attention to the certain corrupt prices in the department. The latest transfer is the 43rd in is career.

    "I have requested the chief secretary to allow me at least two years of posting as per the service rules... frequent transfers like these is demoralising for upright officers," Mr Khemka told NDTV.

    But the government has rejected the IAS officer's accusation as his "incorrect perception" that he was being punished "for exposing scams". "It (transfer) is the prerogative of the Government. The officer was transferred for administrative reasons," the Chief Secretary said.

    The Opposition, though, has seized upon the mater to criticise the state government for harassing an upright officer. "Hooda government has been exposed...innocent and honest officers are being harassed...those who don't allow corrupt practices are frequently transferred," BJP leader Anil Vij said.

    Mr Khemka's transfer seems to be just one among the several cases of political witch-hunt. Earlier, another IAS officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi had met a similar fate before being finally bailed out by the Centre.
    For NDTV Updates,
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