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Five officials suspended in temple land scam case, says Minister

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Government has suspended five officials of the Endowments Department in connection with a land scandal under which 187 acres of valuable land belonging to two temples, near Hyderabad, were sought to be sold away by them and at throwaway price.

An announcement to this effect was made by the Endowments Minister, M. Satyanarayana Rao, and the Principal Secretary(Revenue), D. C. Rosaiah, at a press conference here on Tuesday in response to newspaper reports highlighting the scandal.

The officials were K. Ramakrishna Kumar, Joint Commissioner (Estates) of the Endowments Department at its headquarters here, Mohanachary, Deputy Commissioner, Hyderabad (Urban) district, Raghavachary, Assistant Commissioner, Ranga Reddy, and the Executive Officers of the two temples--Sri Sitaramawamy at Devara Yamjal in Shamirpet mandal and Sri Venugopala Swamy at Tarapur in Serilingampalli mandal.

The Minister said the Anti-Corruption Bureau had seized the records relating to the case and was going into all its ramifications.

The case had also been referred to the CB CID. A detailed inquiry was on by the Endowments Department itself. He avoided a direct reply to a query whether the previous Principal Secretary(Revenue) in charge of Endowments, during whose time the muddle was stated to have occurred, was involved.

Illegal occupation

Mr. Satyanarayana Rao said there was an extent of 800 acres at Devara Yamjal under Sri Sitarama Swamy temple and 10 acres at Tarapur belonging to the second temple but some grabbers and others had illegally occupied a part and tried to sell away 187 acres with the connivance of officials.

In view of the litigation, the Endowments Commissioner, I. Venkateswarlu, wanted to dispose of this land.

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