Sonbhadra Massacre: 1955 Revenue Records of Disputed Land Missing

Some records are destroyed after a specified period of time, the additional district magistrate said.

Sonbhadra: Investigations into the clash which left ten Adivasi people dead in a Sonbhadra village last week might face a major hurdle as the 1955 revenue records of the disputed land are missing.

On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath had suggested the genesis of the land dispute was laid in the 1955 records. He ordered the committee set up to investigate the shooting incident in Gharowal area of Sonbhadra district to look into it.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, have demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

“The records of the land belong to the time when Sonbhadra was a part of Mirzapur district, till 1989. Some records are destroyed after a specified period of time. The same is the case here,” additional district magistrate Yogendra Bahadur Singh said.

Some records, which are taken as time barred, are destroyed in a routine manner as every paper cannot be stored, the ADM said.

The committee constituted by Adityanath under the additional chief secretary (revenue) has to submit its report within ten days.

Also Read: Sonbhadra Massacre: Adivasi Victims, Opposition Accuse BJP Government of Inaction

At a press conference after visiting the village, Adityanath had sought to pin the blame on the Congress, which governed the state between 1955 to 1989. His government has claimed that the 90-bigha plot was illegally transferred to the Adarsh Co-operative Society, which held the land till 1989.

It claimed that the ownership of the land was changed to an individual that year. Later, the individual reportedly sold the land to gram pradhan Yagya Dutt, the main accused in the firing incident on July 17.

Ten Gond Adivasis were gunned down while resisting a violent attempt by the village head and his men to take control of the land.

On Tuesday, ADM Singh said Dutt also had taken illegal possession of another land located opposite his house and that the district administration has got it freed.

District magistrate Ankit Kumar Agarwal has ordered an inquiry into all development-related work undertaken in the area.