Friday, 3 June 2016, 11:45:17 am

Shops forcibly occupied in city market

--BMC, cops’ silence raises eyebrows

OCN

BHUBANESWAR: Earlier, there were many reports of rampant encroachment of Government properties by land grabbers in the capital city Bhubaneswar.Shockingly, now it has come to light that even shops are forcefully occupied in the city using muscle-power.This has put a question mark in the law and order situation in the peripheral areas of the capital city, where local goons still rule the roost despite the establishment of the Commissionerate police in 2008 with primary responsibility of law enforcement.   

Sources said more than 30 shops and Pindis allotted to different persons by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been forcefully occupied in the Mahatab Market in the Sundarpada area under the Airfield police station in the city.The property owners (licensors) are not getting any rent or very rent from the illegal possessors, who are carrying out different business from the  shops like hotel, grocery , chicken centres, carpentry, pan shops and fabrication units. But the owners are too scared to lodge a complaint with police, leave alone evict the illegal possessors as most of them are local goons.

It is alleged that it is all this happening in the knowledge of the BMC officials, who have washed off their hands of the episode, saying that the illegal occupants are locals and they do not want to incur their wrath by taking any action.The encroachers have been emboldened by the fact that some lower-level officials of the Airfield police station are hand-in-glove with them and offer them protection for reasons best known to them.Notably, the market shares its boundary with the Airport police station and the cops cannot dish out the lame excuses that are ignorant about the happenings in the market, said some of the victims.Earlier, the market had come to the limelight for an IMFL liquor shop due to which women folk were afraid to venture to the market. But after a sustained agitation by local women and residents the shop was shifted.