Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The Will, which Utkalmani Pt. Gopabandhu Das had dictated to his employee Radhanath Rath is missing, though Rath’s son Prof. Nilakantha Rath says that, he had seen the “original” with his father.
But the Will taken dictation of by Lingaraj Mishra with Gopabandhu’s signature in various parts of the same has been retrieved. And with this, it is established that the Servants of the People Society is using a forged Will of Gopabandhu to loot the paper he had co-founded.
The day designated for declaration of India’s independence – 14 August 1947 – was greeted with a special edition of the Samaja, of which a copy is in our possession. This special issue is especially silent about Servants of the People Society having any relationship with the Samaja. The photo copy below shows that Udayanath Sarangi printed and published it at Satyabadi Press, Cuttack when Radhanath Rath was its manager and editor.
We have already published in these pages earlier how SoPS had asked its member Lingaraj Mishra to receive the Satyabadi Press only from the executors of Gopabandhu’s will, as he had wanted the SoPS to take over the charge only of that Press, as and when the Samaja, to which that Press was pledged, would release the Press from its duty. And, Mishra had complied with it.
On this ground mainly, we were sure that Lingaraj and Radhanath suppressed the Will of Gopabandhu and prepared a forged Will to show that along with the Press, the newspaper Samaja was also given to it; because, thereby, it is they who were to derive maximum benefits both politically and financially.
After forging the Will, they had tried to tamper with the copy of the Will recorded in the Register of Registration. Their attempt was foiled by an alert official of the court and thus having failed to do so, they have destroyed the file containing records of the probate case; and sure that there shall be no trace of the signed Will, they have used the forged Will sans any qualms in all law courts as and when they were to exhibit the Will. Because of this forgery, the SoPS have obtained registration from the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) for the Samaja, firstly as Trustee and later as Owner. We have wanted clarification from the RNI on these two distinctly different phenomena along with all applications for registration, and order sheets; but the nation’s apex authority on publication of newspapers has not yet been able to answer our query. This has led the ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ to demand for scrapping SoPS as owner of the Samaja, as the said society has occupied the Samaja through treachery and forgery. Press Laws never permit publication of a newspaper by any person illegitimately claiming to be the owner thereof. As the RNI has failed to act, SSF has preferred a writ case before the High Court of Orissa seeking action against inaction of the RNI.
Sadly, the State Government of Orissa is sleeping over such serious fraud, as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is enjoying his nexus with the miscreants in this case.