By Naresh Sankepally | THE HANS INDIA |
Dalits, tribals and freedom fighters duped by realtors with help of officials

Dalits, tribals and freedom fighters duped by realtors with help of officials

Hyderabad: In an explosive finding the Task Force Committee constituted by the State Government, which probed encroachment of lands, has concluded that thousands of acres of land in and around Hyderabad have been encroached upon with the tacit connivance of certain bigwigs.

An even more sordid revelation is that the land was originally allotted to Dalits, tribals and freedom fighters! The contents of the report that has been accessed by The Hans India reveals that 2,000 acres of assigned lands belonging to Dalits and girijans besides some belonging to freedom fighters in Patancheru and Ramachandrapuram mandals of  Medak district changed hands several times.

Swanky villas, apartments and posh houses have come up in such lands. The committee also felt that it may not be easy for the government to retrieve them. The committee is learnt to have submitted four reports on assigned lands and three reports on Bhoodhan lands belonging to freedom-fighters. In some cases the encroachers are said to have managed to secure signatures of freedom-fighters on blank papers and got the lands registered after submitting fake documents.

In its last report, the Task Force reportedly mentioned that in Ramachandrapuram mandal about 400 acres of assigned lands and those belonging to freedom-fighters have been grabbed by a prominent real estate firm with the help of bogus documents.

According to highly placed sources, the report lists how a small mistake committed by an MRO in 1993 was taken advantage of by the firm to grab hundreds of acres and how the tahsildar and other higher officials connived in the matter. The officials allegedly altered the records to benefit the realtor by stealthily removing important files.  The report concluded that the lands are valued at crores for the ‘owners’ while original beneficiary is finding it tough to make ends meet with the meager hand-to-mouth earnings.

The committee also found that Bhoodan lands comprising 144 acres near Ibrahimpatnam, 26 acres near Batasingaram and ten acres in Turkayamjal also belong to the poor. It recommended stringent action against the land grabbers. About 800 acres on the Hyderabad-Warangal stretch has been found to be that of Bhoodan Trust Board.

Sipoy Ranga Rao had donated 40 acres in Mahabubnagar district to the board and secured an equal area in Rangapuram.  The committee has recommended that the entire land had to be taken back. A highly placed source told The Hans India that officials had earned crores by colluding with the land-grabbers for rendering official favours. With files remaining untraced, investigators have not been able to act fast.

According to another officer, at least four months is required to study each case of land-grabbing and prepare a report. Officials are studying records running into hundreds of pages and also land transactions taken up since 1948 before securing details of the extent of land under occupation.

They are making the government case strong by securing all documents, considring the possibility of land occupants approaching courts and some that could be under litigation. The committee suggested that in such cases the land could be regularised at the market rate at Rs1,000 per square yard. It estimated the revenue of Rs1,000 crore in the mandals  could be utilised  for the benefit of weaker sections, who incurred losses on account of land-grabbing.