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Another ‘Kaagaz’ story being played out in UP

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Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh), Jan 20, 2021-
This is one story that catches headlines but continues to repeat itself.

Bhola Singh, 65-year-old farmer, has been declared ‘dead’ and his brother, in connivance with revenue officials, usurped his family land in the Amoi village here.

His story is strikingly similar to that of Lal Bihari Mritak, who emerged victorious in his battle against the system that had declared him dead in the revenue records. Mritak’s story unfolded in Satish Kaushik’s ‘Kaagaz’ that was recently released on OTT platform.

In Bhola’s case, the Mirzapur district administration has now ordered a DNA test to establish his identity.

Bhola Singh can be seen sitting outside the district collectorate with a sign that reads, “Sir, I am alive. Sir, I am a human being, not a ghost.”

A district official, investigating the case, said the DNA test had been recommended as the people of Amoi did not recognise him.

“We probed the matter. The man does not live in Amoi village anymore but resides in another village. When Bhola Singh was taken to the Amoi village, no one in the village recognized him. When he was asked to recognise his own brother, he could not. He could not even identify anyone in the village. He then said that for the last 20 years or so, he has been living in another village,” said Additional District Magistrate (Finance) U.P. Singh.

Outside the district magistrate’s office, the 65-year-old man told reporters, “My name is Bhola. I am here because after the death of my father the land was registered in the name of two persons — both brothers. In the land revenue records, I have been shown as dead. I am here to say that I am alive.”

The case began about five years ago when an FIR was lodged at the Kotwali police station in November 2016, on charges of cheating, fraud, and forgery.

The FIR was registered after Bhola Singh alleged that his brother Raj Narayan and two district officials wrongfully declared him dead to acquire his ancestral property but no substantial action has been taken on it. (Agency)

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