Deputy Inspector General of Police Vineet Brij Lal, Joint Collector G. Srijana and Deputy Collector of Visakhapatnam L. Vijayasaradhi who made up the special investigation team (SIT) that was brought together by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in June 2017 to investigate complaints of land records tampering that alienated 1,226 acres of prime government land in Vishakapatnam District, have named former Revenue Minister, Dharmana Prasada Rao, and 8 Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Officers, including other district-level officials, in a land scam that is roughly estimated as being worth hundreds of crores. The former minister claims this to be an example of being a target of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), as he is a member of the YSR Congress.
Responding to the allegations of tampering of records, Rao asked, “We purchased the land at Rs 5.3 crore only after the seller obtained a [No Objection Certificate] from the then district collector and the sale deed for the same was executed by the revenue and stamps and registration departments jointly. Where is the scope for tampering of records?” The land in question was a three acre plot that was alienated in favor of a granite mining and export company that he is a promoter for called Virgin Rocks Private Limited. The land was originally to be given to an ex-serviceman but was shown in records to be private land and not government land.
The SIT recommended criminal action be carried out against those named in its report, which it submitted to the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet yesterday.