Secret deals

About 8,000 ha in the restricted area along the India-Pakistan border has been sold to unknown buyers from across the country in the past five years. The bought land in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts belongs to the residents of the area and the Border Security Force. The deals were struck through agents in Jaisalmer and the buyers are listed from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, among other places. But their addresses and names are incomplete.

The Rajasthan government has issued notices to the buyers, asking them to present themselves before the collectors within 60 days. If they default, the government will claim the land, says the Barmer collector. Four tehsildars have also been suspended for negligence.