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Bengal minister on defensive over Vedic Village 'land grab' news
02 September 2009

West Bengal's beleaguered land and land revenue minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah on Tuesday sought to justify the decision to lease vested land to the promoters of Vedic Village, a resort on the outskirts of the city, which has run into rough weather over acquisition of farmland.

The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has stalled mutation of land purchased from farmers by the promoters of the proposed IT township beside Vedic Village, as the administration is now uncomfortable about carrying out deals with Raj Modi, the main partner of promoters Vedic Diamond IT Links.

Earlier, the chief minister had promised to give 90 acres each to Infosys and Wipro from this township area. But since then, Modi has been arrested for murder and links with alleged land-grab kingpin Gaffar Mollah; and a cache of firearms has also been found at Vedic Village. Home secretary Ardhendu Sen had said, ''Land for the IT township is being purchased at gunpoint.''

The government has learnt that the land mafia in the area has purchased acres of land and is waiting for mutation. A look at the brochure prepared by the Diamond Group reveals that the group already has 368.7 acres near Vedic Village, with an estimated market value of Rs446.13 crore.

Replying to queries on allegations against him on the controversy, Mollah said, "I have not committed any mistake since I took over the charge of this department."

To a question, the senior CPI(M) leader ruled out his resignation. "I will not do anything under pressure or to satisfy any one. I will take my own decision," he said.

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Bengal minister on defensive over Vedic Village 'land grab'