VIJAYAWADA: Former CBI DIG Vineet Brijlal will head the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the State government to conduct a detailed probe into the land scam in Visakhapatnam, DGP N Sambasiva Rao said here on Sunday.
Addressing a press conference, the DGP said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials not to spare any individual involved in the land scam. The other members of SIT are TTD Deputy Executive Officer (Services) Lanka Vijaya Sarathi, Visakhapatnam Joint Collector G Srijana and Revenue Divisional Officer Vijaya Sarathi. The SIT would submit its report to the State government by August after conducting a thorough inquiry. As part the inquiry, the SIT would examine land records and other documents to verify if they were tampered with by individuals and officials, he said.
The DGP admitted that the land records might have been tampered with by some officials whose names could not be disclosed now. “Stern action will be initiated against the individuals who are enjoying the benefits after tampering with the land records,” he said.
During the preliminary investigation, three cases have been registered in Visakhapatnam since a week against 30 people in connection with the irregularities pertaining to 270 acres in Kommadi and Madhurawada. Of the total land, 265 acres belong to the government, while the remaining five acres are owned by private individuals. As of now, only tampering of land records has been identified. After verifying Encumbrance Certificates, it has been found that all lands are under the government and there are no traces of land registered in any individual’s name.
“Being a senior IPS officer, I am not supposed to reveal all the facts as the case is going to be investigated by the SIT. A meeting was convened with Visakhapatnam District Collector Pravin Kumar and we came to know that some of the SFA (settlement fair adangal) records have also been tampered with. Investigation into the land scam will be conducted in a transparent manner. The SIT will reveal the complete details shortly,” he said.
A team of officials, including Collector Pravin Kumar, had unearthed the scam, while digitising the land records of various villages to upload them in Webland. Suspecting a land scam in three villages, the officials verified the land records with old ones and came to know that the records have been tampered with. Some information was retrieved from the call centre established by the Collector in Vizag.
“The SIT will also inquire if any individual got loans from the banks with the tampered land records. If any individual has necessary proof or evidence of record tampering with him, he can approach the SIT without any hesitation,” Rao said.
According to a complaint filed by Visakhapatnam rural tahsildar L Sudhakar Naidu, tampering of majority of the land records has been done in Kommadi (178 acres) and Madhurawada (92 acres). The revenue officials have filed three complaints under Bhimili and Pendurthi police limits.
In a first of its kind initiative, the State government has appointed an RDO rank official for Visakhapatnam rural mandal considering the importance of the land records tampering issue. As of now, none of the individuals has been taken into custody by police in the three cases registered. He admitted that though record tampering has been done, not a single acre of land in Visakhapatnam was in the hands of land grabbers.
Special Investigation Team
Former CBI DIG and 2001 batch IPS officer Vineet Brijlal to lead SIT
TTD Deputy Executive Officer (Services) Lanka Vijaya Sarathi, Visakhapatnam Joint Collector G Srijana and Revenue Divisional Officer Vijaya Sarathi are members
It will submit the inquiry report to govt by August