Revenue Divisional Officer, Deputy Tahsildar held for pocketing farmers’ money in Telangana

The accused ensured the compensation amount was transferred into the bank accounts of their relatives, Anti Corruption Bureau officials said.
Image used for representational purposes.
Image used for representational purposes.

ADILABAD : Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials arrested four people including the then Asifabad revenue divisional officer and a deputy tahsildar for diverting funds worth Rs 4.32 crore that were to be given to farmers as compensation for land acquired for the construction of a national highway. The accused ensured the compensation amount was transferred into the bank accounts of their relatives, ACB officials said.

Siddam Dattu, ex-Asifabad RDO and now Warangal RDO, Deputy Tahsildar Meshram Nagarao, working in Asifabad RDO office, and two realtors were held Saturday night. Dattu has been named as A-1 in the case.

Surveyor got KTM bike, 10 tolas gold: ACB

According to the remand report, the RDO, along with mandal surveyor J Bharath, who is A-3 in the case, hatched a plan to get the money meant as compensation for farmers, by conniving with realtors Subba Shambudas and Thujalpuram Laxmi Narayana. The ACB filed cases against as many as seven persons in the case. A-3 J Bharath, mandal surveyor and two others were absconding.

The bureau received a petition in April this year about the issue. An investigation by ACB officials revealed that in 2016, the government decided to construct a four-lane highway from Mancherial to Lakadkod of Maharashtra through lands in Janakpur of Asifabad situated in survey numbers 9 and 10.

Dattu, the RDO, was the competent authority to pay the compensation. As per Revenue records, in survey number 9, the total extent of land was 11.5 acres and in survey number 10, the extent was 12.4 acres and were in the possession of a farmer. However, realtors Shambudas and Laxminarayana purchased the land, converted it into plots and sold it.

The RDO paid the compensation even for internal roads in the plotting area to the realtors. The total compensation was estimated as `4.32 crore and it was paid to the two realtors. After the realtors got the amount into their accounts, they transferred `65 lakh into the bank account of the mother of the accused RDO and `35 lakh into the account of the brother of the deputy tahsildar, according to ACB officials. The realtors also gave `25 lakh, 10 tolas of gold and one KTM Duke Bike to the surveyor in July 2019, they added.

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